Now, I’ll have to admit, when I was first introduced to screenplays, I thought they were pretty lame. All dialogue. Almost no description. The page looked practically naked. Empty. Without the stylistic adornments and embellishments of fine literature. I turned up my snooty nose, tossing page upon page of screenplay away, swearing that I would only ever write novels.
Now, several years later, after writing a few screenplays of my own and gaining a little bit more maturity (I hope), I’ve come to realize that screenwriting and novel writing are not that different. Readers, after all, are just like a movie audience: they’re both sitting there expecting a story to be told to them. The only difference is that readers experience the story playing out inside their heads instead of up on the big screen.
Recently, then, I’ve been approaching my novels in a cinematic way. And I can’t tell you how much I think my writing has improved. Here are just a few of the lessons that I learnt about novel writing from screenwriting.
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