Writing the First Draft as a Screenplay

Writing the First Draft as a Screenplay

Hi all!

I hope you’re well, I was planning to write another post today about how I keep myself from being distracted when writing but that quickly went out the window. This post instead is inspired by fellow blog extraordinaire J.Young Harris (who has an archive of useful writing tips you should totally check out).

As none of you know since I haven’t really mentioned this, I write my first drafts in the form of a movie screenplay. This may sound odd and you may question my sanity (which is completely fine) but you also may find this interesting.

I’m a pantser by nature, outlining for me doesn’t work despite trying every now and again so this is where the screenplay/first draft comes in. When writing the screenplay the first thing that always pops to mind is to imagine my novel as a movie which as a film buff I can do rather well. All the characters are there, the scenery is made up and clear in my head. I’m not thinking about what words to write or how to get across a description, I just want to see things happening.

For example rather than typing up: Thomus retracted the blade from his opponent, his blood boiling frantically and his sword ever more so dripping with the foolish soldier’s own blood than with any other enemy he had defeated.
I would put: Thomus withdraws the bloodied sword as he panted wiping sweat from his face. There’s no need to go into length about how exhausted Thomus is or how angry he is. A screenplay gives those who need to read it an idea of what is happening on the screen and not what the character’s deepest thoughts are or how red the blood is. A screenplay moves the story along by action and whilst a novel will do the same thing near about, a script won’t linger.

After the first draft is complete, that’s when the real writing begins.  But the advantage I have is that every line of dialogue, descriptions (as brief as they may be) and actions are already laid out giving me the job of simply expanding upon them. Now; Thomus smiles and chuckles before shaking the hand of Ashan can look like, Thomus smiled brightly and let out a well-deserved laugh before taking Ashan’s hand and squeezing it tightly, affectionately.

I hope this has been of some help, please feel free to comment any questions you might have and I’ll be happy to answer. Take care. 🙂

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