Tuesday, September 20, 2016

PART ONE: Writing a Screenplay from your own Novel

This year I’ve decided to branch out in a new direction hoping to further my writing credits. It all started because of a free online course offered in screenwriting from the University of Glasgow.  (https://www.futurelearn.com/)

 The course even offered a web link to 100 free movie scripts to read. Sweet! (http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/) There were round table discussions on different movie scripts during the course hosted by knowledgeable experts and the material was presented in an entertaining manner. I was hooked!

Then I sat down to try. And low and behold I discovered it was even better than I imagined the journey to be! Not only is the movie slowly unfolding, but it is IMPROVING my original manuscript. Distilling a plot down to its bare essence using as few words as possible is a useful enterprise for a wordy author! Suddenly you see it from a new perspective and I personally found it a very useful exercise.

Apparently, just like the first few pages of a novel are meant to “hook” the reader, so is the first 10 pages of your screenplay the most important. I spend quite a lot of time on these first few precious pages that translate to one page/one minute of screen time. Means I will need 120 pages of script come spring! Also, I had to learn the script software program. I ended up using a free one (http://www.trelby.org/)  to see if I like this well enough before buying the expensive one. Now, a couple of weeks later I now have moved on to the industry standard software: Final Draft. It is currently on sale and will be for a few more days. (http://www.finaldraft.com/)

I also researched books on the subject and discovered a slew available on the subject that I test drove that I will speak to in the future.

I intend to spend the next few months as I learn more and more blogging about the journey. I hope you find the information useful, and if you do, drop me a comment. Or ask a question. J

Best regards,
January Bain


Rita Bay said...

Best of luck, January. Keep us informed of your progress.

January Bain said...

Thank you, Rita!!!