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My question is: Can a fiction writer write a movie script easily?

From what I read, few screenwriters could write a good novel. How about novelists? If asked, can they write a TV/movie script easily?

For example, can a thriller writer write a good script for a thriller movie like Memento or Vertigo?

A novelist with good story ideas can certainly concoct good movie ideas; however, no one is born with the automatic skill of writing screenplays. Screenplays differ from novels in myriad ways, from format to plot points. In addition, screenplays have more restrictions on length than novels and require much more dialogue. Instead of lengthy narrative, screenwriters must be able to explain lighting, direction, and setting with as few words as possible.

A novelist who has never studied screenplay writing or who has never even seen an actual screenplay would find it impossible to produce an acceptable screenplay. It would be like asking a bicyclist to ride a bike on a high wire with no prior practice.

If you are interested in writing screenplays, take a course on the subject, and I donít mean just a seminar. Find and take a course of study on screenplay writomg, and then you may be able to recast your great story ideas into screenplays.

In the meantime, I hope you will sign up for my free newsletter for writers. Go to and click on "Free Newsletter" to sign up for The Writers Network News.

Yours in writing,
Bobbie Christmas  

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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