I have just finished adapting ‘Broken’ into a screenplay. It was a very interesting experience and taught me a lot about the process of story-telling in a visual format. It was also a good exercise in conciseness – having to get 300+ pages of prose down to 100 or so pages of action and dialogue.
‘Writing a Screenplay’ for Dummies was a useful guide during the process and it was nice to find that once I had figured out where the back-story ended and the real story started (after a couple of abortive attempts) that the story fitted into the traditional three act format.
That said I did realise that my final ‘showdown’ between Danny and Gill was a bit of a damp squib in comparison to the earlier scene where he goes to the horror house armed only with a doped pork chop, a torch, and a hammer… It needed sprucing up and so I spruced it up. Then I got to thinking ‘well if it was no good for the screenplay why is it okay to leave it like that in the book?’ The answer is that it isn’t, and so I have changed the ending of the book (again).
It is temporary unavailable on Kindle, but will appear again with the better ending and corrected formatting (there were a few too many tabs in the previous version).
I promise I will leave it alone now and concentrate on writing my new book which is called ‘Lucky’ and will hopefully be out at the start of 2014 at the latest (fingers crossed). The screenplay excursion was in some ways undertaken to avoid dealing with some plotting problems I have with ‘Lucky’, but I am confident that these can be ironed out eventually and writing the screenplay has had the desired effect of helping me to understand what is important (and what isn’t) in a story regardless of its format.