So, I’m going to take the raw story Heart of Clouds I wrote in NaNoWriMo and try a new twist on that by trying to write a screenplay. It’s the first time I have tried to do that. I did an adaptation once of a few pages of an old short story for this class I took and writing that way is really different.
I had two really great teachers at the Conference. One of them used the films The Graduate and Lawrence of Arabia to teach us how to move the plots forward — and how that is done. I have a few books on the subject and I probably should read them cover to cover before April when script Frenzy starts. Like Nano you have 30 days to do a 100 page screenplay.
So, as I wrote this novel I was thinking about how it “looked” and I need to translate that into the way a screenplay looks.
I guess this is sort of like my “job” right now? Since I can’t seem to find one. So, trying.
There were basically 24 scenes in the novel and these can translate over into scenes in the movie — but you do it differently? Like there is no internal dialogue like when you are writing a novel. You show that instead and you only have a few seconds to do it. So, to give you an idea what that is like, or to try and test it out myself — here is a chunk of text:
The beach was deserted the day that Teenie Alexander curled herself into a small ball in the big pile of driftwood somebody had fashioned into a kind of hut. It isn’t easy for any girl to be thirteen years old — but it really wasn’t for Teenie. She hugged herself and pulled her sweater tightly around her. She had run away from home that very morning.
The whole village had been whispering about The Wave for many years. It was a prophecy that a wave would hit the shore and wash away all the people into the depths. The sea gods would have their revenge on the land one day. Maybe it had been a rumor about that wave, except nobody had been listening or paying attention to the news about the dead zones in the ocean. Except Teenie. She was worried all the time. Her mom had been talking about the wave all morning because it was on the news again.
Teenie had her little journal with her — the one she always carried around so that she could write down poems if they chanced to come into her mind. It was made from paper, with the most beautiful design of colored flowers embossed in relief. And she had her Waterman pen. That had been a gift from her dad, before he’d gone. He’d said to her “Teenie, you have a heart made of clouds, you know that?”
“Never forget that, okay?”
He’d said it gruffly in the way he always talked to her like it was hard for him to really tell her he loved her. That was just how men acted she thought. They were so quiet most of the time.
That is a lot of info.
How do you think of that as a movie?
She is on a beach in the morning, worried, with the journal her dad gave her. The “Wave” will come later in the story. So, it looks like this:
EXT. MORNING. BEACH.
A young girl, Teenie runs down the beach looking worried and hides in a driftwood hut she finds. She pulls her journal and pen from her pocket and smiles wistfully.
INT. NIGHT. TEENIE’S ROOM.
We see her father tenderly giving her a journal and pen.
Teenie, you have a heart made of clouds, you know that?
(Speaks gruffly and tenderly ruffles her hair)
Never forget that, okay?
(Smiles up at her father)
Never lose that little twinkle in your eye. Promise me?
EXT. MORNING. BEACH.
Teenie traces the journal while thinking of her dad. She looks out to sea and sees a little heart made of clouds floating in the sky. It makes her start to cry.
It’s like that?
WISH ME LUCK! I am going to need it. I figure four pages a day will do it? I got a fab free program called Celtx from the people participating over at Screen Frenzy. It is amazing! Really. Gotta try. Have to!
xxoo, from me —
Here is a page on the Rules…..so you can see!
On second thought — here is the screenplay for one of my all time favorite films in the entire world and I can already see where I went wrong! Here is the one for THE ENGLISH PATIENT. This would be something to try and study for hours and hours. So beautiful.