The summer of 1997 was when I started writing. I’ve always loved going to the movies and I’d regularly visit my local cinema at the weekends. On this particular Saturday in 1997, I bought my ticket, grabbed my usual coke and popcorn, then sat down to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The curtain parted, the lights went out, and the opening scene of this movie kicked off with an explosive set-piece.
Several minutes later, I’m sat there dumb-founded. What the hell is this crap? It’s the only movie I’ve ever wanted to walk out on. I didn’t though, since I reasoned I paid enough for the ticket and refreshments. After the film finished, I trudged home shaking my head in disbelief at what I just had to sit through.
When I got back home I immediately fired up my computer, opened up Wordpad, and started writing. I knew diddly-squat about writing back then: three act structure, protagonist/antagonist, character arc, all these terms were unknown to me at that time. Once I finished those first two pages, I read them and thought, “What the hell am I writing about?”
Eighteen years later, after devouring dozens of books on screenwriting and how to write a novel, I’m not far off from self-publishing that original screenplay as a novel. I can’t really self-publish a screenplay, but I can if I convert it, or even better, expand it into a novel.
It’s been tough, as most of you can attest to, having to flesh out those one hundred and twenty pages of a screenplay into a full length novel. But on the plus side, it gave me the opportunity to add scenes into the novel that I had earlier removed from the screenplay in order for it to get under the one hundred and twenty page limit.
Looking back down the mountain I’m about to reach the summit of, I can smile. I don’t care if this debut novel fails to sell outside my circle of family and friends; I DID IT! I also know that I’ve got many more stories bubbling inside my head that are bursting to get down onto the page.
How about you?