Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ideas are everywhere.... but what's good?

Just one of those things I wonder about. I've written a lot over the years, mostly short stories and this novel that won't go away. The thing is, as I occasionally slip through old notebooks and folders I find the pieces of ideas scratched on paper. Mostly - at least what I think - are good.

I write mostly horror. Some of the many filed ideas are comedic and there's an occasional thriller thrown in, but nothing is more fun than finding a new way to creep someone out.

One two, Freddy's coming for you... one of my favorites.

Those that have read my stories have always said that they read like a movie. So... with a little encouragement, I thought I'd see if I could turn one of these scraps of paper into a working movie. I mean hell, I wrote stories and have a nearly completed novel, so this should be a breeze, right?


Just like poetry is different from a short story, screenwriting is a world apart from any other form of writing. I took my most likely idea at the time and began to work on it. Problem was, I am used to prose - describing thoughts, fears and attitudes.  The manner in which someone behaves... trying to illustrate in the reader's mind the scene before them. Doing that in screenwriting just makes it a painful read.

I found out that some of the ideas, as a whole, would never make it into a screenplay. A good three hundred page story doesn't translate the same way to the screen, and sometimes you find yourself economizing characters just to fit your screenplay into something marketable. What ends up? Some ideas end up either getting reworked into nothing or trashed outright. Others only bear a resemblance to the original story. I'm thinking that's why virtually EVERY Stephen King novel turned movie are totally different creatures.

I did join a popular site to get peer evaluation - it helps. Scenes that play out in my head sometimes don't translate well to a reader, so you got to redo it. So here, I decided to document my journey into this - mind you, I do have a screenplay (under revision of course,) but it's getting there. And here, just like after adding the FADE IN:, the most awkward part begins. First draft, first words. Now it should get easier. Hope you follow along... maybe I'll get that greenlight!

But don't we all hope that?

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