Friday, December 6, 2019

Screenplay vs a book.

When I wrote my first books, back in the late 70s, I sort of avoided dialogue, except where needed. The dialogue was serviceable, I think, but I mostly relied on narrative. They were fantasy books, so the setting and mood were more important, or so I thought.

When I came back to writing in the 10s, I found myself doing dialogue more and more often. I'm older, and I've had more conversations in my life, you know? But I've never tried to have the memorable lines--unless they came naturally.

Yesterday I had an idea for a store, as I related on Facebook.

"Dreamed an entire Kafkaesque story set in a gigantic nursing home, with an evil security guard (Ian McKellen-like) victimizing a new resident (me) and no one will believe me because they all love McKellen and think I have dementia, so I escape and I'm finding places to hide in the huge building and McKellen is chasing me down.

"And the nursing home is like a slice of American life, with the rich living in huge luxurious apartments on top and the poor living in tiny cells at the bottom."

Here's the thing. I see this more as a screenplay than as a book. But a screenplay relies much more on dialogue, and I'm still not sure that is my strong suit. I can see this whole movie in my head, but it would be driven by what is said as much as by the action. I mean, it's important to know your strengths and weaknesses. 

What it would take is a lot of thought for each line of dialogue. It would definitely be a new experience.  

1 comment:

Dave Cline said...

Write a scene. See how it feels. Send it my way. I'll be viciously honest...