Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top 5 reasons not to write a screenplay

Since I'm an on-camera talent in addition to being a novelist, I often get asked if I'm going to write screenplays for my books.

For me, that answer is no, though sometimes I get a nagging feeling I should try. Here's why I haven't:

1) It's hard enough to learn about and market to the romance novel industry while self-publishing more and writing new books. Learning about and taking the time to write and then sell screenplays is, honestly, a bit daunting. I doubt I could do both at once in addition to acting and freelance writing, which help pay the bills.

2) My current releases are set in medieval England, so production costs would be sky high. I need castles, horses, armor and swords. One book has an important battle scene. Shows like Reign clearly have the budget for the settings and gorgeous costumes (whether historically accurate or not). Yes, these days there's crowdfunding, but running a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign for that much money would be difficult and yet another thing to learn about and fit into my day.

3) Many more famous author friends and those I follow in the community haven't had movies made of their bestselling novels. I know of a few that were optioned, which is great, but never heard that the films were made. One friend's book will be turned into a movie for the Hallmark Channel. And she did write the screenplay...but she's had multiple bestselling novels. I haven't. Yet?

4) Some may think screenplays are easier because they're much shorter than most novels and don't require all of the description and internal monologue. I think they're harder, because most of the story, emotion and conflict must be conveyed through dialogue alone.

5) I've seen many scripts I think could be the story and/or the actual writing. I've even edited several, and the authors were quite pleased with my suggestions and comments. Yet I've never been motivated to try my hand at one.

Will I change my mind? Time will tell.

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