It’s been a little while since I wrote something here. Been saving up all my writing chops for the new novel I started.
Yup. I’m 7,000 words into it and it’s been consuming me. The experience has been a motley combination of fear, intimidation, uncertainty, purpose, release, inspiration, and joy. It’s a brand new undertaking and while I am confident in my ability to design a story, the form is completely new to me – though laced with a sense of deja vu.
The principals of good story design are universal, and have been observed through 5,000 years of story telling. My experiences with learning the craft have been limited to writing screenplays, and plays. Working in these forms requires a particular approach. One must pack as much of the story as possible into as few words as possible. There’s a lot of white space in a script. Not only that, but the writer is limited to the present tense, and the story may only be told through what is visible. We are limited to where a camera may go, or what a stage will hold. We can’t ‘see’ a character’s thoughts for example.
A novel on the other hand, has no such limitations. The writer can do anything in a novel, so long as the principals of good story telling are observed. The reader can know the characters thoughts and the perspective can be told from the past, present or future tense. I feel like I’ve been freed from some sort of story jail. The possibilities are endless.
Still, I love the screenplay form. For me, it’s rigid limitations have made me a better writer. I choose NOT to stray too far from those limitations. They are my touchstone.
So here I am, experimenting with a new form. I’m learning a lot and I think the end result will reach a lot more people. Novels are easier to distribute than screenplays.
And who knows, maybe it will lead to a movie deal.