July 31st 2016
Today I started writing a screenplay. But let me backtrack.
I woke up in a hotel room in Rotherham, which is like, way up north. It took four hours to get home, and the journey really tired me out. Which says a lot because I wasn’t even driving. Just being stuck in one place, confined by the van and the ten other people inside it, made me feel achey and restricted. As such, when I got home I got straight into bed and put on a film.
I’ve somehow managed to watch a film on six of the past seven days, and I must say I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been trying to pay more attention when I watch films, usually I just have one on in the background whilst I scroll through my phone or play a game or something, the fact that I’m not 100% concentrated is probably why usually the day after I’ve watched a film I couldn’t even tell you the main characters name, let alone what happened in it. But this week I’ve focused more, focused on the dialogue, and the cinematography, and how it’s shot, and structured. And saying that, I watched ‘Drive’ tonight and I have no idea what the protagonist’s name is. Oops.
I’m a writer, right? I write blog posts, and articles, and I’ve written a book. A novel. A sixty bloody thousand word story that’s got a beginning a middle and an end, and everything. My goal for that book – or any book – is to have it published, and for it to be so wildly popular that I sell the film rights to the book and a movie is made about and around it.
But I thought tonight, why not just skip the middle step and go straight to the film?
So whilst I was waiting for a piece of script writing software to download I searched YouTube for ‘how to write a screenplay’, and learnt how to write a screenplay. It’s easy, really, it’s just like a book but with less words and more talking. My advantage in this process is that I already have a ready made story that I can work with. I just have to turn it from a novel into a screenplay. Easy enough, right?
Probably not. But it’ll be a fun little project. Since I started full time work a month ago I’ve not had the energy or the time to re-invigorate any of my projects. And this is one that won’t take too much creative impulse or hard work, because it’s just a translation job. It’s moving a story from one media to another. Which, with 125 pages of A4, is not a small job, but it’s one I’m looking forward to. I mean, I still don’t have the time, or energy, but whatever time I do have would perhaps be better spent writing a film instead of watching one.
I don’t know anything about screenwriting. I don’t really know anything about novel writing, I just sat down one day and started writing, and a month later I had something that resembled a story. Two years from now and I’ve sent (much revised) copies/excerpts of that novel to various different literary agent and so far had nothing but rejection. So whilst I wait for that to come to fruition (if it does) and in a period where I don’t have it in me to commit to the creation of a new story (although I have plenty of ideas) I’m going to commit to the re-imagining of an existing one.
From my YouTube crawling I have a basic knowledge of the structure and formatting of a script, and the piece of software I downloaded basically does all of that for me anyway. I started where it made sense to start, at the beginning. Within an hour I had turned my entire first chapter from a chapter to a scene. A strong start.
Until tomorrow, end scene.