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Old 04-24-2007, 10:36 AM   #11
magicman35
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Default Re: A few questions...

Chaps, let's not get into a weeing contest.

Question for Jake though. You've mentioned in a few posts that the novel and the screenplay are two very different beasts. Notwithstanding the obvious differences, do you think that has changed in the past few decades, especially with reference to genre novels?

I read a lot of thrillers and the best of them don't seem that removed in terms of narrative structure from movies. In fact they seem to have a lot more in common with movies than say literary fiction - single protagonist, set-ups and pay-offs, chapters ending on a hook, etc.

I'd be very interested to hear your take on this (or anyone else's take for that matter).
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: A few questions...

concerning question one, try the script factory - on wells street (i think)


http://www.scriptfactory.co.uk/go/Wh...ticle_217.html
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:51 AM   #13
Jake Schuster
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Default Re: A few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicman35 View Post
Chaps, let's not get into a weeing contest.

Question for Jake though. You've mentioned in a few posts that the novel and the screenplay are two very different beasts. Notwithstanding the obvious differences, do you think that has changed in the past few decades, especially with reference to genre novels?

I read a lot of thrillers and the best of them don't seem that removed in terms of narrative structure from movies. In fact they seem to have a lot more in common with movies than say literary fiction - single protagonist, set-ups and pay-offs, chapters ending on a hook, etc.

I'd be very interested to hear your take on this (or anyone else's take for that matter).
You make an excellent point. People began noticing this with Michael Crichton (whom I've not read), whose books are apparently structured very much like films--with little narrative or descriptive substance, lots of active dialogue, and quick cuts. I think what's happened is that a lot of genre novels are written with film sales in mind, and the more cinematic the writing--the thinking goes--the easier it'll be to sell the thing to Hollywood. What you're seeing, then, is essentially a commercial trend.

A novel is essentially an inner experience, introspective by its very nature, a kind of "living through" the story by the writer. The English novelist Henry Green aptly called a novel "a long intimacy between strangers".

There are many genre writers, though, who remain very firmly literary--I'm thinking of Henning Mankell in Sweden and Ian Rankin in Scotland. Though both have been adapted into TV series, reading them is essentially a literary experience.

I've found in my years of writing that moving between fiction and script requires a psychological shift. As I've mentioned, the skill sets are very different. To put it into metaphor, writing a novel is like sailing across the Atlantic. You can stop in Bermuda for a night, become becalmed, do some bird-watching, ride out a storm, find a different route when needed. Writing a screenplay is like paddling a canoe down a swiftly-flowing river. You're limited in what you can do, and you've got to get to your destination as quickly as possible.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: A few questions...

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(If the paragraphs are close up thats because of issues with my work Active X/security system) I have so many questions to ask about screenwriting so I thought I'd post a few here. 1) Does anyone know what writing/screenwriting courses I can go on in London, England, especially South London that are any good? 2) Can you be a Writer/Producer or only a Writer/Director? 3) Is it easier to work your way up through TV episode writing to writing features or is it better to write shorts and features straight away? 4) Can a novellist write screenplays easily or is it the other way round? 5) If I have what I think is a great idea, do you have to continously work on Logline and Synopsis? I'm looking to make films independently.Please answer these if you can.
1. Read a lot of scripts before writing anything.
2. Resources on the internet like wordplayer and Martell's amazing
scriptsecrets will supplement you on every step.
3. Spend a lot of time writing.
3a. Keep reading scripts whilst writing.
4. You have to be passionate about film and writing. I think you need to be
obsessed with it.
5. The learning never stops.
6. Prepare to spend years honing the craft.
7. Enjoy yourself.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:01 AM   #15
Jake Schuster
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Default Re: A few questions...

Though it was some time ago, I came to London to start my career as a novelist, but, because TV was in such a golden age back then--it was truly a writer's medium--that I wrote a 50-minute BBC-standard teleplay for the "Play for Today" series and was promptly signed by an agent. This led to my being commissioned to adapt my first novel as a feature and essentially got me off the ground.

TV in the UK is not by any means the writer's medium it used to be, but it's probably the place to start, considering the UK film industry these days.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:10 AM   #16
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Default Re: A few questions...

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Chaps, let's not get into a weeing contest.
Pardon the slight digression, but is that Irish for "pissing match?"
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: A few questions...

no irish man would use the phrase 'weeing contest'
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:14 AM   #18
Jake Schuster
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Default Re: A few questions...

I wonder what marine makes of my "taking the piss"--the Irish say "taking the mickey".
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: A few questions...

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no irish man would use the phrase 'weeing contest'
My faith is restored.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:21 AM   #20
magicman35
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Pardon the slight digression, but is that Irish for "pissing match?"
Quote:
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no irish man would use the phrase 'weeing contest'
I was being all proper like, not to mention facetious.

Secondly, I'm not Irish.

Thirdly, I live in the part of EIRE commonly referred to as West Britain. It's a strange part of the country around Dublin where men play cricket then drink twelve pints of Guinness and kick each other's heads in whilst wearing cravats.
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