Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#WW Writer Wednesday, Choosing the Right Format

I recently became interested in writing screenplays. I had an idea for a 'noir' novel and then read that Meryl Streep was calling for more screenplays, not just for women, but for older women. I thought my 'noir' was perfect for an older actress (two, actually). So I took a screen writing course and set myself to learning all I could about the process. While writing the screenplay, my 'noir' became a romantic comedy (par for the course for story-telling in any form!)  I've fallen in love with screen writing; it feels liberating and yet requires a concision even more than short stories do. For me, the constraints of the format actually free my imagination.

My foray into screen writing has made me consider, though, just what form is best for the kind of story you want to tell. Making movies is expensive and a lot of work. Your story might be wonderful but is it suited to the screen? Is it visual? Does the tone translate to the screen? The audience can't see into the character's heads, you can only show who they are. Maybe your character would be best written in first-person narrative in a novel. Moreover, perhaps it isn't a novel, with all that entails: a plot and characters that carry it for the length required. It may be best suited to the precision of a short story. A poem? Flash fiction?

Although I finished my screenplay, and am happy with the result, I'm still working on writing the story as a 'noir' in novel form. Same characters, similar plot, but as a 'noir' it has a very different tone and, as a novel, a different set of problems to work out. My point being there are a variety of ways and forms to tell a story and it's worth thinking about before you start.
©2015 Selaine Henriksen

NOT Selaine!
Selaine Henriksen has supported her writing habit by working many different jobs over the years from bookstore clerk to Research Technologist. Currently a Fitness Instructor and mom to two editors-in training, she lives in Ottawa, Ontario where she is a member of Capital Crime Writers. She blogs at reflecting an eclectic taste in reading, as well as writing, although
she is a firm believer that at the heart of every good story is a mystery. Selaine also has two self-published books at and

Thanks, Selaine, for a great piece on trying out new formats!  

READERS: We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of our #WW Writer Wednesday Series and that we'll see you again next week when our guest is Tom Irish with a new short story. Until then, "Butt in chair, WRITE!
~ The Black Cat

Buddhapuss Ink LLC is proud to be a small, but solid house, known for great fiction and nonfiction books, that are written for readers with brains, by authors who have more than just one book in them.

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