Reader Question: What’s the biggest challenge novelists face when switching to screenwriting?
Scott Myers
324

True, true, and more true. I personally experienced all the pain associated with moving from writing novels to writing scripts. I was told, repeatedly, that there was no effective way to make the transition. Well, that was like telling me ‘no, ’ and I rarely take no for an answer. So, I registered for a screenwriting course. The first few months were rough. However, once I gave up trying to follow the story (like a novel) and approached it from the format angle, I found a groove. Finished a screenplay during the class, just optioned it. Biggest challenges: maintaining the right tense, letting go of the descriptors, ‘speaking’ in shorthand, staying out of the character’s head. No lie, it is NOT easy, but it can be done. Novelist to screenwriter in eight months. This article was timely. Thank you and thanks to my producer for sharing the link with me. Best wishes to all aspiring writers. I encourage you to jump mediums. The more you stretch, the more you grow.

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