A friend of mine wants to make a movie and I’m helping him on the script. It isn’t the first time I’ve tried writing a script, and it probably won’t be the last, but I have to admit that I rather prefer writing novels, as a rule. There’s a lot about writing scripts that is fun, like knowing that people will actually be saying the words that you put down on the paper, and getting input from people who have a very different creative viewpoint than you.
But there are sacrifices as well. One of the big ones is that you have to realize going in that even though you’re doing the writing, this project is not about your creative vision. That’s a hard one for me. I’m used to being able to listen to someone’s critiques, think about what they said, and then decide, screw it, I like that bit the way it is.
You can’t do that on a screenplay. Well, you can do that some of the time, but not all the time and not to the person running the project. I’ve had a couple of times when I’ve been told to take out the line of dialogue that I thought was the best in the scene.
There’s nothing wrong, of course, with arguing about it, or putting up a fight if you really believe that the script is taking a dive, but you have to pick your battles, and know that you could well lose them.
Over all, I recommend that people try writing screenplays if they get the opportunity, but go in with your eyes open.