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Question
Cathy,

I have come up with an idea for a horror movie that I feel would be great on the big screen.  I do not want to write a script for it however, because I think that it would also make a great book.  How do I go about writing a book and making it into a movie later?  Also, how would I go about finding someone that is qualified to critique a book idea without worrying that it could be "stolen" for lack of a better term?  Thanks in advance.

Answer
Well, ideas can't be protected by the copyright process. Only the actual text can be, and that happens the moment to put word to paper or characters to screen. I wouldn't worry about getting a critique of the *idea.* You'll be much better served to actually write the book or script. Both have fed off the other for years. Books can become movies, and movies can become "novelizations." It's how you do it that's important, so the quicker you start to write, the faster it'll be done. :)

To write the book, you need to think of the order of the plot. Here's how I write my books: Think about great movies you've seen and pretend it's been adapted to network television. Your chapter ends are the "commercial breaks" where you have to hook the reader enough to not wander off to eat or use the bathroom and never pick the book back up. Then, make characters that the reader will CARE about. So, they have to have a life to be interrupted---one that if they die, it makes a difference. Give the person a fear that they must face (think of the Saw series of movies) or put them in a position in the text that gives them a role reversal (the victim must become the killer, or some such.)

Writing a book is an art and it takes practice. Plan to spend some time on it, and don't worry about the idea being stolen. There really isn't an original idea left out there. There's only YOUR interpretation of an idea that's going to make it unique and special.

Hope that helps a little, and good luck! Feel free to write back with any other questions.

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
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.

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