Monday, March 1, 2010

On screenplays and novels

I'm in the middle of revising a script for a producer, writing a new novel, and anxiously awaiting publication of my novel Pictures of You. It's a juggling act, but one I really love. I mean, really, what's better than doing something you love?

But writing a script is so different from the novel that I'm having trouble with the story. A script is like a racing horse headed for the finish line. Everything has to push that horse along. You can't dally with backstory the way you might with a novel, you can't get into too many points of view. I spent all morning reading the script for The Savages, which was so good, it took my breath away (Tamara Jenkins also was interested a while ago in making my novel Into Thin Air into a film. Sigh. I wish she had.) But I took the script apart, watched the beats, nursed my flu, stopped to make soup, and came back to work. I switched from the script back to the novel, then tried to make some lists for pre-pub publicity, then back to the script.

Some days, you feel just like a polygamist.


Eileen said...

Good luck! Do you have the book, "Save the Cat"? It's about screenwriting. I found the structure very helpful, even for novels. Just blogged the title on my blogspot page:

Caroline Leavitt said...

Eileen, someone in one of my UCLA classes mentioned that. Maybe I need to pick that up!

Caroline Leavitt said...

Done. Just ordered it!

a gracious plenty said...

i can barely get my novel finished. i can't imagine having any more balls to juggle. you seem to do it well though. keep plugging away. katie