Going from script to prose

The first time I wrote something in script was in 2011 when I first participated in ScriptFrenzy. It wasn’t intended to be a television script or a stage play; instead, it was a script for a comic. That was my first experience with writing something other than a novel and in a format other than typical prose writing.

I didn’t write another until 2016, when I started the script for version 1 of The Gate at the End of the World. After all, scripts were for comics. There was no reason to first write a novel in script and transition to prose later, right?

Then I started writing The Book of Immortality as a script. It wasn’t a story that was intended to be a comic. I’d considered it, but then realized the story worked best as a novel and decided against it. Despite that, I didn’t start the novel in prose like all the others I’d written before. I wrote the entire first draft of the novel as a script, with plans to write the second (and third, and fourth, or however many revisions it took) draft in prose.

I learned so many things. Scripts are much easier for me to write! I’d go so far as to say that they’re essentially effortless. I don’t have to figure out the right word right away or describe things in detail. I don’t have to come up with names right away; I can just write [PLACEHOLDER] or something like that. I can write any amount of notes to myself.

Yes, I know you can do all those things in prose novels, but it always seemed wrong to me. I’m much more comfortable breaking the rules when writing a script.

Unfortunately, this ease presented quite a problem when I started writing the second draft of The Book of Immortality. I actually had to describe things, and name things, and enough time had passed that I no longer remembered a lot of what I had in mind. I ended up spending more time on those things than I would have liked.

So despite scriptwriting being super fun and easy for me, it’s not so great for stories that should have been written in prose in the first place. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be sticking to writing my novels in prose.

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