Blog #12: Writing Books vs. Movies

Some people write books. Some people write scripts. Some people, like myself, are crazy and do both. I've written hundreds of screenplays versus three books, so obviously there's one craft that I pursue more than the other, but I have enough experience to (hopefully) compare the two processes.

Although I've written a lot more screenplays than books, I want to look at what goes into writing a book first. So, what's writing a book like for me? The initial thought that comes to mind is that it's a more spontaneous experience than writing a script. For example, the two self-published books 'Duck' and 'A Month of Mae (in November)' were both individually written over the course of a month. I didn't put any pressure on myself to write them, I just went into each rabbit hole when I was inspired to. Both books I was afforded the opportunity to have a leisure experience with, but with most scripts that's not the case.

Writing a screenplay is a totally different animal. Books are more free-wielding to write as long as I have an ending to write to. On the other hand, screenplays have to be more precise and deliberate. Screenplays have actual intent of being more than just text, unlike books. They are meant to be translated both visually and in performance. Screenplays are written over weeks/months/years and then melded into a shooting script over more weeks/months/years. I imagine a lot of authors have a similar experience with their books, but at the same time there's one stage of production to consider instead of three (pre-production, production and post-production). Also books allow for more freedom to write as screenplays need to have a level of feasibility with locations/sets/props; this is a noticeable difference as a low/no-budget filmmaker.


This blog entry isn't tremendously more than surface-level for examining the differences between writing a book and writing a script as the intent is to ignite a dialogue between all areas of the creative spectrum. With that said, what do you think?

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