Common Ground: Screenwriting Techniques To Transform Your Novel

A man wearing unusual rings is writing on paper. The post title "Screenwriting Techniques to Improve Your Novel" is superimposed on the side

by D.J. Williams, @djwilliams316

As an Executive Producer and Director in the TV industry, I understand the difficulty and challenge of transforming a novel into a visual experience on film. As a novelist, I’ve enjoyed the freedom of writing and storytelling without worrying about the limitations of turning those novels into a screenplay. Many of my readers have said, “Your books would make great movies.” I’m humbled each time I hear those words, but I’m also realistic about surviving in an ocean with sharks. Writing a novel and writing a screenplay are two different animals that don’t always play well together in the same body of water. So, if your dream is to write a novel in hopes you’ll get it optioned for film so a studio can spend millions of dollars producing your story, you might find yourself throwing a penny in a pond hoping to retrieve a pot of gold. Let’s just say, the odds are not in your favor. But there are techniques we can use as novelists to transform our stories that share common ground with screenwriters.

In my novels, The Disillusioned and Waking Lazarus, the chapters are written as scenes in a film as a way to keep readers engaged. Since my writing tends to be more visual, much like a screenwriter, I use this technique to keep the story moving forward at a quicker pace. I don’t want to bog readers down with pages of backstory, inner thoughts, or showcasing my writing prowess that leaves them trudging through a swamp. I’m not a literary genius like Tolstoy. I write commercial fiction, and what that means is I must use some of the same techniques as a screenwriter because we live in a visual age. Isn’t that how we want readers to respond? We want them to envision the world we’ve created, to connect with the characters, and to imagine where the story will lead. Our words on a page create a visual experience for our readers. Continue reading Common Ground: Screenwriting Techniques To Transform Your Novel

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open and 'Twitterific Writing Links' by ElizabethSCraig superimposed on the image

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

A weekly roundup of the best writing links from around the web.

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 39,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Business / Miscellaneous

Creativity and Inspiration / Productivity / Fitting in Writing

Creativity and Inspiration / Productivity / Writer’s Block

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Creative Challenges for Better Productivity

A wet paintbrush lies on a colorfully streaked canvas

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Sometimes I think that we need something to spur us on and get us going.

We need something different to help us either grow or keep ourselves engaged. Maybe we’ve been working on one book for a long period of time. Maybe we’ve been working on a particular series so long that we feel we’re getting stale. Maybe it’s that we’ve been writing a single genre.

Sometimes we’re just weighed down by our story.

For me, the best thing I can do is to shake things up a little bit. 

Write at a different time of day.

Write in a different place (my favorite is the library).

Read something really good. For me, this is usually something in a genre I’m not writing. Or, maybe, I’m reading a mystery, but it’s not the same subgenre. Or I’ll read an inspiring autobiography or biography on an artist. Continue reading Creative Challenges for Better Productivity

Expanding Book Distribution

Hands covered in blue paint and maps of the world against the background of the sky.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

When I wrote a post in October on growing our international reading audience, I mentioned a Facebook group called The International Indie Author, headed by writer Mark Williams.  (You must ask for permission to join the group.)

Mark was kind enough to make some very thoughtful comments on the post. In those, he urged writers to consider not only going beyond KDP, Apple, etc,. but also beyond distributors like Draft2Digital or Smashwords.  Among other things (like using Fiberead to reach a Chinese audience), he mentioned the importance of getting our books on Google Play (which we can’t do through D2D or Smashwords) and OverDrive (which puts our books in over 33,000 digital libraries in more than 50 countries).   Continue reading Expanding Book Distribution

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

A weekly roundup of the best writing links from around the web.

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 39,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Creativity and Inspiration / Goal setting

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links