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Screenplay or Novel?

  1. Rafini profile image88
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    Last winter I began writing a story - my first attempt, actually - and after a few pages it seemed to me it was more of a screenplay than a novel.  So, I completed it with it being a screenplay in my mind.

    In September, I joined a writers group and began submitting sections of my screenplay for their critique.  It's been a steep learning curve for all of us, since nobody has experience with a screenplay. Well, last month I submitted a scene that's about in the middle, and they asked me to do a synopsis for this month because they couldn't remember too well what had happened up to this point.  No prob.  Done.  Tonite, they suggested I rewrite it as a novel!  (they suggest it cuz every time they ask a question about what they can't 'see' or 'feel' from the screenplay, I have the answer)

    I'm not tied to the idea of a screenplay, but I am unsure of proceeding with it as a novel...cuz I'm totally unsure of a theme and such.  The screenplay is a courtroom drama/custody battle, and I've never read a courtroom drama!  (only watched some on TV or movies, lol)  Anyway...

    They have such wonderful ideas!  I'm excited about it!!  I use plenty of flashbacks, and they suggest changing POV from chapter to chapter, like odd is the plaintiff and even is the defendant.  OMG - now I have like 3 stories I want to be writing all at the same time! 

    Help me!  smile  Any ideas?  lol

  2. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    Sounds intriguing. The easiest and most effective way for me to help you is to read your material and discuss the various options with you.

    1. Rafini profile image88
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The beginning of the screenplay is posted as 2 hubs - Courthouse Drama.  I'll head over and republish them now. 

      My biggest concern, really, is trying to write 3 different stories while going to school FT. yikes  big_smile

      Any helpful ideas would be appreciated!  smile  (thanks!)

  3. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    Thanks for republishing. It is well-written for sure. It sounds like an interesting, realistic story.

    Writing a novel is a huge task. If you feel strongly about the plot, theme and characters, and have the desire to expand upon these things, you may try to write a novelette or novella instead. This way you can build on a strong foundation without stretching the material thin or making it seem far-fetched. Better short and strong than long and watery.

    When critiquing novels, uneven quality levels are one of the most common problems I find. Start out strong, then dip - like it becomes rambling, unfocused, repetitious, stale. Then the speed picks up again. So to write a strong novel, you need a really strong foundation.

    Technically, I don't see such a big problem in converting some of your dialogs/monologues to prose. You may need to work to make the language a little more colorful, in that event.

    1. Rafini profile image88
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you!  Okay, what I'm hearing is - don't worry about novel or book so much as maintaining quality/storyline.  That does take the pressure off.  I'm not even too sure how to divide it into scenes, but I'll get that figured out as I go.

      Thanks again!  smile