Whew! Nearly a week’s solid writing and the screenplay I’m working on is very, very nearly done. After all the hours I’ve spent out in the treehouse, a script that clocks in at around 100 double-spaced pages doesn’t seem like all that much compared to the hundreds of pages needed for a novel. But that is part of the attraction of screenwriting, for me at least. The phrase ‘show, don’t tell’ is verging on becoming a cliche, but it is a golden rule of writing nonetheless. I don’t think for one moment that after reading a few books and writing a few scripts I know all there is to know about the ‘screenwriter’s craft’. But, I do know that showing rather than telling is not only essential in a good screenplay, it is also very enjoyable.
One of the joys of writing The Last Caesar and its sequel in the first person is that I can show the reader exactly what my (anti)hero is thinking, like Francis Urquhart’s asides in the wonderful House of Cards TV series. Not that I as a 23 year old should know so much about political dramas from the early 90′s! But writing for the screen allows you that much more subtlety. A hand gesture or even a silence can be more telling than a whole page of dialogue.
I’m rambling a little, forgive me. Blame it on the giddiness of nearly finishing what I hope is a good story. Now the question is whether the producer enjoys reading this rewrite of my Glasgow gangs piece as much as I’ve enjoyed hammering the story into shape. Wish me luck!