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Screenwriting: Take Two

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a talented screenwriter will only use a couple. To better understand screenwriting, let’s drive a wedge between the meanings for what is descriptive and what is visual. An author is encouraged to write descriptively because the audience responds to the story through the written word.

Over the last six years since founding Smashwords, I've witnessed a dramatic change in attitudes regarding self publishing.  I'm pleased that much of this transformation has been led by the professional example of Smashwords authors.

It’s the same argument every time: they’re unrealistic, exaggerated, full of purple prose, and not worth the paper they’re printed on.  At best the comment will be made—with a wink and a nudge—that they are porn for women.

When you think of “clean reads,” do you immediately picture a handsome knight rescuing a gorgeous damsel, placing her gracefully atop his snowy white steed, and trotting off to their standing-room-only wedding by the sea? Do you think of fairy tales in which good conquers all, true love never dies, and beauty (even if disguised at first) is the ultimate sign of virtue?

A story is simple. Writing one is not. I work as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, collaborating with authors to adapt their books into television pilots and feature film screenplays. My fellow screenwriters label me a book snob, while most authors I work with call me an evil bastard.