Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Script to book

I haven't written a post for just over a week; not sure why that should be, but c'est la vie.  Equally I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on here, but since the musical was performed I've been working on turning the script into an e-book.  Why an e-book as opposed to an ordinary book?  I was about to start the next sentence off with 'well' which is a word I often use in this blog at the beginning of things, but I was warned off it by this paragraph in Jamie Chavez's blog the other day: "Watch for repeated use of sentences beginning with “well” or “so.” It may happen a lot in real life but it’s just plain annoying in a book. If you feel you must, limit the use of this gimmick to one character. In moderation."  Chavez is talking about the use of 'well' in dialogue particularly, but it applies more generally.  I guess I use it to indicate a kind of informal tone, but I don't actually need to.  Jamie's warning will no doubt spring to mind every time I try to from now on.  (She's got plenty to say on a good number of other writing issues, too.)

As I was going to say, why an e-book?  Because it's difficult to get books published in paper at the best of times, and it's easy to publish them yourself these days.  It costs a good deal less, and your royalties are considerably more.  Of course not everyone in your prospective readership has an e-reader, but e-books can be read on computers and smart phones and iPads and so forth, so it's not as limited as it might appear.   Anyway, it's been interesting turning a script into a novel: at first you feel constrained by the original, to make sure all the dialogue stays intact, and the stage directions (and even the things from the show that got included), but then you begin to loosen up, and the book becomes less dialogue-driven, and starts to include more back story and more material that makes it more interesting.  My first draft was very dialogue-ridden.  Then I began in the next draft to turn the dialogue into indirect speech, and then as I progressed I turned it back into dialogue again, though it was now a lot less in your face. 

Good learning experience!
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