Overwrote your script? Heck no. It’s a novel!

15995128Aaron Cooley nailed it in his article on HollywoodJournal.com:

“But what Syd Field and Blake Snyder and Robert McKee failed to tell us is that we writers are not in control of our own destinies. Check that; we’re not in control of jack shit.”

You spend months — possibly years — writing a script and how many people ever actually read it?  10?  12?  Aaron did the math on one of his well received script.  A screenplay that was sent out wide by his agent.  It even ended up being optioned.  The grand total?


And then the project died. Aaron’s suggestion to screenwriting glory? Write a novel.

Amazon’s self-publising makes it easier than ever.  And each read/download is $ in your pocket.

And if they don’t like it?  No rejection letter or call from your agent about how they liked the writing but it’s “jut not for them.”  Even better?  SHADES OF GREY was an online novel that was turned into a paperback and eventually will be a movie.  Your novel doesn’t even have to be good!

(That’s good news for a lot of us.)

Let’s turn that screenplay..I mean novel outline..into money.  And reads.  Speaking of which: read the article.  Aaron is much better explaining the whys and wherefores.

Plus…I got a novel to write.

Check out Aaron’s novel.

Follow his thoughts on twitter: @fleming17f

And HollywoodJournal.com gives great insight as well.

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3 thoughts on “Overwrote your script? Heck no. It’s a novel!

  1. N.G. Davis says:

    I get the frustration, but I disagree that we’re in control of “jack shit.” Also, if your goal as a screenwriter is to get read, then I agree, you should turn to novels. When you spend years chipping away at a screenwriting career, it can be easy to lose focus of what the goal truly should be: A career in which you write words that eventually become a movie, which will likely be seen by millions.

    Just as technology has made self-publishing easy, it’s done the same for filmmaking. All sorts of people are making their own movies now. They may not be seen by that many, but if your major goal is to get a movie made, why not take a low-budget idea, get some friends together, borrow a halfway-decent camera, and shoot one? That’s a good way to gain some satisfaction while you’re waiting for your break in Hollywood — which, again, I do believe we have quite a bit of control over.

  2. giantELF says:

    Well said and good advice. The same ease of self publishing can also be found in filmmaking. In fact, it pre-dates it by far. But some of us are just writers. Not writer/directors. This post is for them.

    Also — I find that many screenwriters really are novelists and they do not know it. They think writing a screenplay is easier. It’s not. It’s much harder.

    Thanks for reading. And thank you very much for commenting.

  3. Aaron Cooley says:

    NG – I don’t disagree. My first draft of the piece included a paragraph (unfortunately cut for space requirements) explaining that you don’t have to write a novel necessarily, just find a way to get your work out there yourself — whether it’s directing a short or even putting your movie pitch on YouTube, which someone recently did and landed some meetings from it. The point is, there are so many more of us creators than current open slots for our creations to be made by big publishers/studios/networks, etc that we have to keep searching for new and better ways to shove our work in front of people. Only one in several thousand writers gets “discovered” just off a spec script and there are so many right-place-right-time factors that go into those stories we can’t control.

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