This process can = excruciating
I know how to write. My first completed novel (writers know they always have dozens of WIPs) was a 90k word book for a small press publisher in Ohio. I received a book contract, but alas no book was ever printed. My first completed screenplay landed on the desk of B-movie legend Bill Rebane, who had nothing but good things to say about the project.
Then I finished my second novel. Then two more screenplays (yeah I love to write). Then for my fourth screenplay, I wanted to adapt my 2nd novel, a 65k word piece. The script would have the added advantage of an “underlying property” and make it more attractive in the industry. Cool. Ready? GO!
Wait a minute Skippy. To take a 65k word novel and turn it into a 30-35k word screenplay, I was going to have to… (GASP!) cut. After the months and months of writing and re writing and polishing and researching, now I had to flush half of it down the toilet? Ugh. OK. Subplot thread? Taken out. Support character? Gone.
But something that I was finding through the process- I was actually making my core story better. I had a plate of green beans and mashed potatoes and meat with sauce, and I had taken away the beans and potatoes and sauce, and was just left looking at the meat. In some cases I have had to say, “this needs something”. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great.
So now I am taking out pieces, refining the core, and when I am done, I will incorporate the changes I made in the script back into the novel. Win/win. I will have a screenplay with an underlying work and a better novel. Its like exercise- agonizing and exhilarating at the same time. And when I am done, my book is going to be better... stronger... faster. Man I love writing.