Three Different Animals


I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it. Great ideas for stories that fall flat because the person writing it forgets to put in the emotions and thoughts of the character.

Novel writing is not screenplay writing. They are two very separate animals. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the big screen, TV screen, and computer screen occupy a great deal of our time. Some newbie writers don’t realize there is a big difference between watching a story and telling a story.

The screenwriter’s bible has a wonderful explanation of the difference between screenwriting, novels, and stage plays. It’s on page four under “The Strength of the Screenplay Form”. If you don’t have the book you can look on amazon in the sample pages and read the section.

The basic breakdown is

Screenwriting – Visual

Stage Play – Verbal

Novel & Short Stories – Thoughts and Emotions

Beta readers and editors can help you with the grammar, but if a writer doesn’t show the emotions and thoughts of their characters, the story will remain flat and one-dimensional.  Readers won’t care about the characters.


About Stacy Bender

Author of Ursa Kane and the Sav'ine series.
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