by Peggy Bechko
Okay folks this is broaden your horizons day.
Most of you reading this are writers and most of you are TV or movie script writers.
So, how many scripts do you have on your hard drive or floating in the cloud? And who’s read them besides you? Anybody giving you feedback or just reading them because they enjoy reading them? Scripts?
You’re a writer why? To entertain? To evoke emotion in someone else? To earn big bucks and become a sensation? (Don’t let me dissuade you from that last one.)
Now. Bluntly, no one is being entertained and no one is going to become your number one booster if those scripts are just gathering cyber dust. I wish I could tell you how to magically sell them all, but I can’t.
So, what are we to do while waiting for that big break? Well, I’m going to suggest you think about turning some of those fantastic ideas into novels or short stories. You might even consider turning a script you’ve already written into a novel. I’m doing it right now. A script called Bloodlines – a vampire western. I take a short amount of time a couple of times a week to work on turning the script into a novel. Between several other projects I can’t spare a lot of time, but it’s happening…slowly. Soon I’ll have a novel complete and with it I’ll choose to go the indy publishing route. It’s fun. People read it. And I’m still writing scripts as well.
If trying to write a novel scares you a bit, don’t let it. You are, after all, a writer. It’s a bit of a different medium, but it’s writing. And, my favorite way of turning a script into a novel is to turn the script into a word document, hit a lot of enters to create blank space at the top, then begin writing the novel, using the script as skeleton. (Hey, Halloween is coming, you have to expect these kinds of parallels from me).
Before you scream and run from the room, give it a try. Or just write a novel as a separate thing altogether. You might consider using a pen name for the novels to keep it separate from the scripts. You might want to brand scripts with one name and novels/short stories/whatever, with another. Or, be bold and use your own name everywhere.
You want people to enjoy what you write, right?
And, as I mentioned above, Indy publishing is a great route when you want to get your work out there and share the magic of the world you’ve created.
Why not? Lots of writers are going Indy, publishing short stories and novels and a whole lot more in digital format as well as hard copy. It’s not difficult to learn. It costs virtually nothing. I’m the world’s worst ‘techie’ and I’ve done it – a number of times. Don’t forget that while, granted, scripts will probably pay better once we break in, there is a great freedom in writing a book that doesn’t limit the writer to a max of 110 pages. And it doesn’t take a few million dollars to ‘produce’ the book or need a whole lot of backers. That produces it’s own kind of writer’s high. It offers an avenue of ‘control’ that a script doesn’t. It might just add a bit of balance to a writer’s life.
Hey, breaking down boundaries and trying something new is a great way to give that brain a boost as well. Not to mention that if that book is great you’ll have something (intellectual property) you can use to work at breaking into the Hollywood industry from another direction.
Think outside the box.
If you like the idea and want some tips as to how to accomplish it, tell Larry you’d like me to write some ‘how to’ blog posts on the process.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.