Writing a Novel, Screenwriting, and Bar Scenes From a Movie

Writing a novel, screenwriting, and bar scenes from a movie are entertaining. Writing a novel based on an existing movie screenplay is not the most common approach writers choose to take. It goes against the grain of how it usually works. Many entertaining novels have been adapted for the movies by screenwriters. Sometimes it works and other times people that have read the novel are disappointed with the movie.

I have caught myself saying, “I thought the novel was way better” and other times I think the movie was good or even better than the book it was adapted from. I love screenwriting, producing, and directing movies. It does provide a creative rush to see an idea you had for a movie really happen and not stay the person always talking about making a movie, but never taking action to move forward.

Almost everybody in the entertainment business knows someone that talks about a hot movie idea, but never writes the screenplay. They might write a detailed movie treatment and it goes no further than that. End of story. Nobody likes to see themselves as that person that never goes all in with their idea. The roles were reversed on me lately.

I was out with friends not wanting to think about anything on a deep level or business. Just wanted to relax and enjoy the moment of what was happening as it came. Like a script page out of a bar scene from a movie I get cornered by that one person that always somehow shows up you know is going to talk your ear off about something. In this case it was their hot movie concept they had been pitching for years. There never is a finished script or treatment, only ideas coming at you like machine gun fire. What if this? What if that?

Politeness beats rudeness. I shot straight with her that I could not afford the time and energy to write a spec screenplay and bet on the come she would find the money to produce it in order to pay me later. We have known each other for years, but in a very casual sense. The reversal happened when she reminded me that over the years I have talked about always wanting to write a novel and have not done it. If I told her about my aspiring novelist dreams, I can only imagine how many times I must have said it to family and close friends over the years.

She was right. I had not done it and only talked about it. Writing short fiction was my transition to screenwriting, but I skipped something I have always wanted to do – write a novel. I have finally committed to completing a novel that is based on a screenplay I wrote titled Crazy Love Story that fell out of production. Writing a novel is a different process that has taken getting used to.

The biggest difference for me as a filmmaker is the level of lucid description that is needed to draw in readers and paint a picture in their mind. With movies people see the story being played out visually. Viewers can see what a character and location looks like. In novels the writer needs to be able to describe in only words the world they have created. Writing a novel based on an existing movie screenplay is not the most common approach writers choose to take. At least there is going to be that climax when it is done that I finally stopped talking and finished the job of writing a novel. This is filmmaker and aspiring novelist Sid Kali typing FADE OUT