Monday, August 13, 2012

Turn Your Novel Into a Blockbuster (Seriously)

Have you ever dreamed about turning your novel into next summer's blockbuster film? Certainly peeps like Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer are at the top of the list of people who got to fulfill that dream. You're probably thinking, Of course their novels got made into movies. Their publishers were Scholastic and Knopf, plus they sold millions of copies. That will never happen to me.
Puuuhlease. Enough with the self-pity! You have what it takes to turn your novel into a blockbuster movie, or at least get some money when a studio wants to option it. Still not convinced? Allow me to shed some light on the subject, er, topic. 

You read it right. You need to build a book that is ready to be translated into film. An excellent example is The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Collins was a script writer for Nickelodeon before she decided to become an author. When she did, her writing was very much like a script: short, quick, powerful and straight to the point. Notice how pretty much all of the dialogue in the movie came straight from the book - even more so than Twilight, because Suzanne's book was so script-like that it could almost act as the script (Collins did, in fact, co-write the screenplay for the film). Another tip? A book that is on the shorter side is more likely to be optioned than a book that is 500 pages long. Of course there are exceptions to this pattern, but you get my point. You simply heighten your chances a little bit if what you're aiming for is an eventual movie deal. Either way, simply putting a book out there is like tossing a raffle ticket into a giant fishbowl: you have a chance of getting picked, even if the odds are against you. 

Another, more attractive option is to actually write a script. Script writing has a lot of rules and formatting dos-and don'ts. You have to learn how to shave off all those extra words that you use in a novel and throw them out the window when you're writing a script. It's a whole different ballgame - one that I actually prefer in many ways to writing a novel. But each one has its own difficulties and boons. 
I'll be talking about how to write a script or a screenplay when I get back from vacation, but for now, we'll leave it at this. 
Have a good one. :) 

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!