Taking the time.

January 24, 2019

 

One of the things I promised myself I would do in the new year (the new year being 2019) was that I would write a book. I released my collection of short stories, He Was Dead, a fair few years ago now, and I've always been a little disappointed with myself that I've never actually gotten round to writing any kind of follow-up.

 

Well, I've been working on this since the new year began, and I've known what the basic plot of this book will be for even longer than that. I actually wrote an entire draft of it over a year ago, but I never released it because... well, honestly it just wasn't very good.

 

Since the new year began I've been busy trying to piece and re-piece this synopsis together, ready to begin writing again. I don't see this sort of thing as chore really because I just really like writing, and truthfully I'd just be doing it for fun as much as I would trying to convince people to... y'know, buy the thing and give me money (and God knows my Patreon died a miserable death).

 

Seriously, if people wanted to give me money to just let me do my thing that would be great. But I digress...

 

The point is that as I've been re-plotting this thing it's occurred to me just how different the structure of a book is when compared to the structure of a screenplay. I write a lot of screenplays, I write them all the time, whether they be short of feature, and the few stage-plays I've written, while different in terms of format, follow roughly the same generic outline structure as a film piece does. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think at this point I'm not bad at, at the very least, structuring these sorts of stories.

 

What I'm not so good at, however, is structuring a book.

 

See, what strikes me as the "problem" is that books... well, they're longer than your average movie of piece of theatre. And when you get adaptations - at least when you get good adaptations - more often than not things have been stripped back or toned down. In a book things can sort of drag (not in the way that they become boring, just as in things can be longer, you can take more time on ideas and whatnot), whereas when it comes to film or the stage you have to be a lot ore swift in your execution.

 

I'm still trying to plot it out, and this isn't me saying I'm giving up by any stretch, it's just me saying that I've discovered this, admittedly obvious, difference in the writing process and it's taken me sort of by surprise.

 

Part of wanting to write a book was that I've never done it before, so no doubt there will be more of these strange little revelations the further into it I get, but at the moment this is the one that has me stumped, and I'm trying to work out how best to proceed.

 

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© Alex Secker 2018