Screenplay/novel comparison

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I should be writing this morning, but…

I write both screenplays and novels. They feel very different to write, and each has its own challenges and rewards when it comes to going from first idea to completed project.

But just how different are they?

I am obviously in avoidance mode this morning, because before I realized what I was doing I’d made a mathematical comparison.

First I opened two new Word documents with identical formatting. Then I copy/pasted a completed novel into one document, and a completed screenplay into the other.

I took out the ‘extra’ stuff, like title pages, etc.

Then I divided the number of words by the page count.

Which is how I now know that when it comes to density, the two types of writing are HUGELY different. Or at least the two I compared were, and it’s my guess that the same would hold true for most screenplay/novel comparisons.

Novel – 500 words per page

Screenplay – 160 words per page

So now I know.
And so do you.


What do you think?