Writing a novel requires very different mind muscles than those needed to write a screenplay. Which is why I switch back and forth. To grow better, stronger writing muscles.
At least, that’s what I hope I’m doing.
But it’s not easy, switching back and forth.
In order to write a novel I must examine every minute detail. Novels are written from the inside, so I put on scuba gear and dive right in. I become part of the inner circle, privy to every thought, every action, every dream.
Then I find a way to share the secrets with the reader in a way that makes sense, and a good story. (At least I hope I do.)
It can be intense. I’ve been known to get lost inside my character’s heads.
Trust me, with some characters that can be a tad scary.
But screenwriting is different. Screenplays are written from the outside. So I strip off the scuba gear and pull out the old binoculars. Screenplays require a bit of distance. What you see is what you get.
Of course, that doesn’t make it any less intense, only different.
My poor brain usually balks at the shift. I’ve not yet been able to put aside one, and immediately pick up the other.
So after I finished the DTA2 draft I gave my brain a couple of days of rest. Kind of a way to oil the gears.
Yesterday I opened up a partially outlined screenplay. The SCREECH from my brain when I tried to read what I had written so far was horrendous. It was so loud it scared my eyes, and they refused to even take a peek.
But this morning was different. Overnight oil had dripped onto the cogs and everything slid into place. My brain had shifted gears.
Time to pump up those mind muscles!