Difference between literary writing and screenwriting
In recent years a lot of writers or novelists have opted for screenplay writing. The shift in the genre is quite big as there are huge differences between the two. There is a common adage that screenwriting is not real life. So, let’s break that down and understand why. Just like a novel, most people exist in a certain space. They think about various aspects of life as explained by novels. Likewise, novels have a depth that is difficult to turn into a movie. The non-visual elements of a novel are crucial to deal with. Therefore novelists need to be aware that they are entering into a completely opposite world.
Screenwriting and writing novels are like math and English. Being entirely different languages. Furthermore, both have zero similarity in terms of communication. The only common ground is the use of English language. Moroever, in terms of format, screenplays don’t resemble to novels at all. Thus it can be concluded that the content of both categories is poles apart.
In script development classes, mentors focus on action description. It’s important to have an idea of how to write a screenplay as a person visually perceives it. It’s the screenwriter’s duty to write as he sees and its a concept taught to all emerging writers. With this technique, a writer can see his story unfold as it is being read. Thoughts, relations, and emotions can only be described by words. Explaining ideas in an active tone brings out the true meaning behind every line. On the other hand, bad writing detracts readers. Action description matters a lot in the reading experience.
Formatting differentiates the two kinds of writing
Formatting plays a key role in defining literary and novelistic writing. Action description can make or break a script outline. Screenwriting programs teach these rules in starting classes. Formatting is a language that communicates to producers. Producing a piece of work that is understandable to both audience and producers, is necessary. Producers shortlist films that they understand. Consider the script as a blueprint instead of fictional entertainment. Think of it as a technical document that needs to be inserted into the software. That software picks out characters, dialogues, settings and makes sure that the budget requirements are met. Actual physical production logistics are dependent on formatting. From a novelist’s standpoint, screenwriting is a completely different animal.
The crucial difference in terms of narrative storytelling
Some writers ponder over the fact that why a novel structure cannot fit a screenplay? Well, a selling screenplay needs to have a 3 act structure. There are specific mechanisms. It has a hero, a storyline, and certain motivation. In addition, it contains action and conflict which leads to a climax. Most importantly it contains physical manifestation.
Only by sacrificing a few elements can a writer produce a quality screenplay. It’s not an easy process. They put in a lot of hard work, which gets rewarded at a later stage. One doesn’t only change a few lines but improves the entire structure. Most of the great biopics, highlight struggles and conflicts of a person’s life. Sometimes, these films are so inspirational that audiences cannot tell the difference between reality and fiction.
Again these movies are adapted in a way that keeps the narrative integrity intact. Feature films require such elements to keep the audience hooked. If these mechanisms are not being employed then entertaining an audience becomes difficult. People just won’t buy it.
The overall idea
People get a lot of descriptions from novels. However on screen that isn’t seen. In comparison to novels, movies do not even project half of those visuals. It’s just not possible. No one finances a film where the character is shown thinking throughout the movie. Even the audience isn’t interested in it. Nobody would buy a ticket for such a film where character development is non-existent. For an adaptation find a particular goal and carefully snip out what is inside of the novel or biography. Find those elements that deviate from the clear goal and that strip the narrative of clear conflict. Any novelist can enter the realm of screenwriting, all it requires is extra effort. Whoever wishes to explore foreign territory is always welcome to do so.
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