Progress Update – What?

I know. It was mere hours ago that I told you about Renee’s evil plot to suck me into the month of “literary abandon” that causes mass nausea just to consider known as NaNoWriMo. But you’ve missed me. Admit it. One post a month? That’s like, abuse or something. So, I’m using this as an excuse to pester visit you more.

Renee and I have spent the better part of the evening hashing and rehashing my rough (and when I say rough, I mean old lady calloused feet rough) outline. It was good, but it had no tension. We took care of that by amping up the asshole factor of two of my characters. I have to say, asshole or not, I kind of like them. They’re my kind of people, even if they are Reapers.

What?

Shhhh. You didn’t hear that.

The problem now is that I’m ready to write. I’ve got some kinks worked out – though I’m sure some will splat all over my face during the process – and Greg is whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Who?

Shhhh. You didn’t hear that, either.

Point is, I have to find something to occupy my mind until November. I’ve got other projects, sure, but they aren’t screaming at me the way this one is. Maybe there’s something to this procrastination thing.

Ideas? I’m open to anything that involves chocolate, wine, books, and the occasional slap.

Or I could just blog. That’s it. I’ll bother you guys some more. Thanks. You’re the best.

Adaptation Series: From Screenplay to Novel, Part One: The Bones

There are two writers in my immediate family: myself, and my stepfather, Raul. The difference between us (well, the biggest besides DNA) is that he’s a screenwriter and I’m a short story writer. Anyone familiar with either of these animals knows that they are different breeds, entirely.


A screenwriter concerns himself with dialogue and the bare bones of a situation. I.e.:

CHRISTIAN enters. He’s angry.

CHRISTIAN

What the fuck, Miriam?

A short story writer, or novelist for that matter, concerns himself with everything else: setting, mood, internal dialogue…

Arms clenched at his sides, Christian kicked in the door of the piece of shit apartment he shared with Miriam.

Not for much longer, good for nothing bitch.

When she didn’t come running to see what the bang was, Christian went looking for her. It wouldn’t be hard. She wasted her life away in front of the television in the bedroom.

The glow of the television flickered on her face, but she didn’t acknowledge his presence.

“What the fuck, Miriam?”

See the difference? 179 words difference, to be exact. The scene is, at its bare bones, the same. But the screenplay version leaves room for interpretation by the producers and director who will work on the movie. The prose version shows you what you would’ve seen in the movie. I read a blog by an author who writes screenplays BEFORE his novels… he called screenplays “the bare bones” of a novel. In essence, a form of an outline. This, to me, was an interesting idea.

Why this blog series? I’m taking on a project. I will be adapting a screenplay written by my stepfather into novel form. Mostly, I just want to see if I can do it. But also, the story for this particular screenplay is my favorite of all that I’ve read of his work. The characters are solid, the plot has no holes, and the story is believable.

This series will be my account of all the problems I come up against (I’m a realist. There WILL be problems), the successes I have, the questions I come across, and the overall process of adapting a screenplay to a novel. Let the games begin!