Happy Sunday, Katy lee here, and today I have author, Connie Mann here to share with us her exciting journey from manuscript to screenplay. So, readers, sit back and enjoy the show!
Now take it away, Connie!
“Writing a Screenplay” had been penciled in on my list of “Things I want to do someday” for quite a few years. I’d written fiction and non-fiction books, articles, devotions, blogs, but never a screenplay. Every so often an idea for one would pop into my head and I’d give some thought as to where to start. That usually entailed pages of scribbled notes on a legal pad, followed by hours of staring at a blank computer screen–with regular interruptions to pace and consume too much chocolate. After a day and a half or so, I’d give up and move on to something else. But the dream lingered, just off screen, as it were.
Then one day during a conversation with my son, Ben Klopfenstein, who works in the film industry, the screenplay idea came up again. He was directing his first feature-length film (he’d directed multiple shorter projects) and was looking for a screenplay. Did I have any stories that might work for what he had in mind?
I gulped and said I’d think about it. But the idea took hold and despite my fear of the unknown, I told him I’d give it a try.
First, I read everything I could find on how to write a screenplay. But my favorite resource, by far, was “Save The Cat” by Blake Snyder. With my manuscript in one hand and “Save the Cat” in the other, I started taking my story apart, piece by piece.
Novels and screenplays are two very different creatures and the rules and expectations differ. I had to learn a whole new way of looking at things. Here are some of the differences:
Long View vs. Condensed Pace
When you’re writing a novel, you have lots of room to roam. You can develop settings and backstory and subplots and anything else you want. In a screenplay, time is condensed. Only conversations, interactions and conflicts that move the story forward get space on the page.
Introspection vs. Action
Characters in a novel can think about things—and we the readers are privy to those thoughts. Actors can only perform actions. So if the movie-goer needs to know about Jack’s secret, 10-year feud with John, how will you show that?
Settings vs. Locations
Novel settings can change from page to page. Not so in a screenplay. Every time the story changes locations, the whole cast and crew will have to pack up and move. So you limit locations wherever possible.
Different, isn’t it? But the process was a fabulous creative challenge and I enjoyed every minute of it. Clear Slate Films agreed to get involved in the project and I was privileged to be on set during the filming (which almost NEVER happens). I got to see my story come to life, which is something I’ll never forget as long as I live. Matthew Ashford (aka Jack Deveraux from Days of our Lives) and Julia Denton(K-Ville, The Contract Killers) were amazing to watch and work with.
The whole thing has been a huge labor of love, but we’re thrilled that our romantic comedy, Catch of a Lifetime (www.catchofalifetimefilm.com) is just about ready for release. A premiere is in the works, so if you visit the Facebook Fan Page, Catch of a Lifetime, you can get all the latest news, photos and info. You can even pre-order a copy of the movie from the website. We appreciate your support more than words can say.
I’ve so enjoyed being here today and I’d love to stay in touch. Feel free to stop by my blog, www.BusyWomenBigDreams.com any time. I’ll be posting more blogs about the movie process, and also offering encouragement to fellow dreamers.
But while I’m here, I’d love to hear what you think. Have you tried to turn a manuscript into a screenplay? How did it go?
Thank you, Connie for being here today! I will admit that seeing one of my stories out of my head and up on the screen, playing out in real life, would be a dream come true!
For more information about Connie Mann, visit her blog page. She loves romantic suspense, and her Florida-set novel, TRAPPED! is available now. She’s also a USCG-licensed boat captain, so when she’s not working on her next story, she’s piloting boats along Central Florida’s waterways.