Did I mention I finished a writing a screenplay? I think I snuck it into the WriMoFoFo post, but I think it deserves a post of its own!
Yes, after years of wanting to write one, I have finally managed it. Draft complete. Much happy dancing ensued.
Of course there’s a way to go before I feel it’s “finished” – after all this is just a first draft – but it was super satisfying to get to the end! Because I’m me (i.e. I never do the simple thing) I started with an adaptation. I know everyone says not to. But I did.
As a faithful adaptation I think I’ve done ok. As a well structured screenplay… well, that might take a bit more work.
It has been interesting doing a screenwriting course while writing the screenplay, because I’m learning all the structure stuff while completely pantser-writing the draft! Very me, huh? But I think I would always pantser a treatment at the very least, given how my writing daemon and I like to work.
The interesting questions with doing an adaptation of a much loved work of 19C literature, is what would the fans of the work prefer; a solid adaptation or a perfect movie structure? I think it depends on the work.
For instance, The Count of Monte Cristo is impossible to do faithfully in a movie because the book is enormous and has so many plot strands, you’d go broke making it! The 2002 version did an excellent job of cutting the plot and characters right down while maintaining the gist of the story, and I know I forgave it the complete re-write because I can’t imagine how else you could do it.
Something like Pride and Prejudice, while smaller and simpler, is hard to convert to a movie, because it’s so well loved that any major changes in the flow of the plot will piss people right off!
Unless, of course, you do what they did with Clueless, and re-write it for a modern setting! I thought Clueless did Emma rather well, though it made it a straight comedy and the book certainly isn’t that.