A Tinseltown Twist on NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year. Emails from National Novel Writing Month are popping up in my inbox. Writer friends are talking about prepping for NaNoWriMo on Facebook. Writerly blogs are starting to post content about it.

And here I am looking ahead to a leisurely, wide-open November and several projects I could choose from. So what am I going to do with those thirty days?

I think I might write my first screenplay.

Screenplays are a LOT shorter than novels, so I wouldn’t be trying for 1,667 words per day to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. A 120-page screenplay (with the average of one minute screen time per page) written in 30 days means averaging four pages a day.

I’ll be taking pre-writing work and tentative outlining I’ve done for a novel and turning toward a more visual medium, for a few reasons. First, I’ve never written a screenplay and I enjoy continually expanding my experience and repertoire. Second, the idea had first started in my head as a great idea for a movie. Third, if the screenplay goes nowhere, which, let’s face it, it probably will (won’t?), it can still function as an extended outline for a novel.

To that end I have been watching a ton of interviews with screenwriters and gleaning lots of advice. I’m searching out well-respected and successful screenplays to read. I’m contemplating taking a screenwriting class in the future. And I’m happy to have an excuse to re-watch a bunch of films that feel like they are in the vein of what I intend to write so that I can take notes on scenes, sequences, and structure.

A screenplay seems just the speed of something I’d like to fiddle with over the cold months while I continue to freefall down the research hole for my WWI novel.

Those are my November plans. How about you?

What do you think?

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