I have spent the last few years honing my craft in Scriptwriting while simultaneously writing in traditional book format. I used to think the difference between the two styles wasn’t too different beyond structure and how dialogue is brought into play. I didn’t spend much time in a Film course from 2013-2015 to realise that there were various important differences. I also initially failed to understand why my writing was consistent as a script yet lifeless looking like a book, but I now understand why I find great comfort in Scriptwriting.
The structure of a script couldn’t be simpler. Switching between scenes of a story, dialogue underneath the character’s name, only mentioning basic essentials of a scene – I became enthralled by this simplicity. My mind could be switched off and I’d still be able to write like this. Books are much more complicated. Even in a 1st draft, the feeling of there having to be a lot of detail to set the scene lingers. The ‘he said, she said’ method also tends to become repetitive and irritating no matter how many alternate ways it can be written. In my mind, scripts represent simplicity. Books represent classy, and I was never a classy guy.
A Second Entity
Sometimes, it’s like Scriptwriting is split into two entities: the simple script and its more complicated relative, the treatment. Typically, treatments are written first because of the assortment of detail they must contain but how I do things is more divergent. With me, a lack of detail comes first with the script before diving into complications with the treatment. The difference between this and a book for me is the fact they’re separated instead of being one like a book. I can be organised without fear of losing details left, right and centre.
What I Was Told In The Beginning
As you’ve read so far, there are similarities among the differences, but how I truly distinguish between the two is what I was told about scripts first day back in 2013. In the classroom getting ready to learn, I was told one page of script is equal to one minute. That likely means absolutely nothing to a lot of people but to me, that comparison makes page after page fly by. Imagining my work 100% will be used for a TV show/movie and how much happens in one page that is equal to one minute of real life – I see it as a beautiful concept putting me at ease.
Attempting to write in book format, I felt unwilling, unmotivated and questioned why I write. But it wasn’t the writing in general. It was the style. I write about my comfort in Scriptwriting for anyone bogged down by an aspect of their passion, making them feel apathetic and lazy. Perhaps it’s time to do things your own way, the way that’ll bring you one step closer to your goal and not stymie you every time you attempt to move.