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Screenplay To Novel

image of red sprite

Earth as seen from the International Space Station, Image Credit: ISS Expedition 31 Crew, from NASA

Topsy-Turvey World

Recently, I just finished writing my first screenplay. I wanted to create a novel  from the story, but putting together a screenplay meant possibly collecting more financial rewards from a lesser amount of work. On the up side after penning only about 22,000 words, I now have a marketable item, which can be sold for big bucks on the film options market…….Maybe,….. but in reality nobody’s biting…… There could be a lot of reasons for this, such as the market is down, the script sucks, the story is commonplace, filming would be too expensive, I don’t know anybody, legal issues are present, the genre is overworked, I can’t write a good query letter and so on and so on. Actually, all of these could realistically be factors in the non-interest in my story, but in researching the market for screenplays, I stumbled across a fascinating phenomena. Many screenwriters are now viewing the publishing route as a viable alternative to selling a script to Hollywood. Strange as it may sound, it seems that Hollywood is suffering some of the same financial woes that have descended upon the rest of the country.

A Red Sprite

Red sprites, a natural phenomena, can be sometimes viewed in the upper atmosphere from aircraft, Credit: D. Sentman, G. Wescott, Geophysical Institute, U. Alaska Fairbanks, NASA

Publishing Turmoil

As far as I am concerned, turmoil in the publishing industry does not necessarily create  any more good opportunities for screenwriters. As a result many screenwritings are pursuing the publishing path. For those so inclined, there are several websites and blogs discussing just this very issue. And that is how to create a novel from your un-optioned film script. Many writers have tried this and although some have seen their writing efforts go into print, the results and feedback doesn’t seem to be overly encouraging. The main advantage of writing  seems to be  getting your work out to the literary public.

Adapting Sideways

One blog of interest is called Adapting Sidewaysand it includes the opinions and musings of two screenwriters, Jon James Miller and Charlotte Cook. Though no longer in active mode, the postings of 2010 and 2009 reveal some interesting niches that a screenwriter might fall into within the publishing world. And this does even really touch base on all the opportunities that are quickly surfacing among those who read e-books. Another interesting viewpoint comes from an article, The Novel vs. the Screenplay: a Tough Love Guide for Talented Writers, written by James Bonnet, for a website called The Writer’s Store. One thing that Mr. Bonnet points out is that novelists do not have to worry about production costs. In fact, he suggests that a screenplay makes a great first draft for your novel. And that my friends is where I intend to begin.

Winning Contests

And then there is Lorelei Armstrong, who not only has a MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, but also has won several prestigious contests (i.e.Screenwriting Expo Screenwriting Contest, The Contest of Contest Winners, The Filmmakers.com/The Radmin Company Contest, The Scr(i)pt Magazine/Open Door Contest, The Acclaim Film and Television Contest, The A Penny Short Contest and The Family Category of the Fade In: Awards). Despite all this fabulous acclaim, Lorelei remains unrepresented, unsold, and unproduced.  As a result, she went out and published her first novel in 2008.  So to all you prospective novelists and screenwriters good luck…..you’re definitely going to need it…..along with a lot of  hard work.

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3 Responses to “Screenplay To Novel”

  1. I need someone to consider adapting my novel into a screen play.

    • Is your novel published? If so, somebody might read it and want to make a screenplay from the storyline. Other options include writing your own screenplay or finding a screenwriter to create a script from your text. In my opinion, these pathways would be more difficult. And if you have a literary agent for your published novel that might work also. In fact the last scenario could be the best of all.

  2. Just now saw your helpful comments – ideally, writing the screenplay would be great but I’ve never attempted such a vast undertaking without formal studies in that genre. I’d feel more comfortable working with a paid, accomplished writer. Thanks


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