You are here:

Writing Books/Can a fiction writer write a movie script easily?


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?

Hi, Morgan!

Easily? No. Like anything else, script writing is a learned skill. But the skills that allow someone to be a novelist aren't the same as what is needed for script writing. The narrative techniques that allow a reader to "see" the scene painted are removed in favor of the treatment of the scene.

Novelists who are "visual" writers will have an easier time. A visual writer is one that plots the scene in advance of writing and can "see" it in their mind. Then, all they do is write down what they see. I'm a visual writer and know a few others. But for those who are "organic" writers, they'd first have to write the scene in order to visualize it. By the time they've created the scene enough to visualize, they've already written a novel, so why write a screenplay instead? LOL!

Now, that's not to say that a novelist couldn't learn how. It would take time and practice, but a good novelist would be able to take the skills already known and turn them into directions. Internalized thoughts that would let a reader know what's going on inside a protagonist's mind could become facial expression notations in a script.

For example, I learned to write comic book/graphic novel scripts, which are similar to screenplays in the direction given to the artist (instead of an actor.)

Does that help?


Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

©2017 All rights reserved.