I’ll start by saying I have never attempted to write a novel. I’ve come up with ideas but after assessing how long a novel is compared with a film script, I’ve always translated my idea to the screenplay medium. That’s not to say that writing a screenplay is easy, as there are a whole host of different rules to abide and structures and formats to follow. But, seeing as most screenplays are at least half the length of a good novel, I always go for the short option!
The thing is, I’m not a big fiction reader. I don’t get a chance to read a lot, and when I do it usually seems to be some biography or other. So I never feel totally confident that I know how to write a novel. On the other hand, I watch a lot of movies so I feel more at home in that world, and like to think I know a bit about how to write a script (anyone who has read my screenplays will probably say otherwise).
The problem is, I imagine that writing a novel is more rewarding due to the amount of work that goes into it. All that flowery, descriptive verse, compared with a bare bones screenplay. It must be really satisfying to hit three hundred odd pages and look at what you have and give yourself a pat on the back. You get that with a screenplay as well, but I don’t know if the satisfaction would or should come until someone actually buys the damn thing. I mean, a screenplay sat on your shelf at home is useful to know one. At least with a novel you can self publish it and someone might read it. The only chance you have with a screenplay is either that someone likes it enough to make it for you (and that’s a very slim chance so we are told all the time), or you try and make it yourself, and that’s a whole different ball game.
So, I think the next time I come up with an idea for a screenplay, maybe I will sit back and think for a minute. Can I flesh this idea out into a novel instead? From ninety pages to three hundred? I think I want to give that a go.
So if anyone has any tips about how to write a novel (hey I have four days left of NaNoWriMo!) then please get in touch via the comments section below. I would love to get some help from all you writers out there!