Is Your Novel a Movie?

I’m back! Had a great time in Indianapolis, although I had to recover from jet lag. Now I’m gearing up for Fall term novel writing classes at Lane Community. This week I thought I’d give a few tips I gathered at the conference.
Writing Tip for Today: Think your novel would make a great movie? Here are some things I learned from Hollywood film producer Dr. Ted Baehr:

  • A Great Concept Always Wins. Over sheer numbers, that is. The lecturer noted powers-that-be in Hollywood will throw out a novel if it didn’t sell 100,000 copies. BUT a great concept is far more likely to get past the various gatekeepers. Those in Hollywood power will buy a CONCEPT–if it’s a great one. You are far more likely to sell a great IDEA.
  • Nix on Documentaries. Since this was a faith-based conference, many might think a documentary on some Bible story would be successful. Not so fast, Dr. Baehr said. People want great stories–not stories about great stories. Documentaries tend to favor education over experience. Movie goers want EXPERIENCE–the more emotional, the better.
  • Definition of a Great Movie: Great movies are great stories WELL TOLD, have a POSITIVE worldview and are spiritually (or emotionally) UPLIFTING. I think a wonderful example is the Romeo/Juliet story in John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Green takes a somber subject (cancer) about star-crossed lovers and somehow makes you believe in hope. Go to your synopsis, and look for these qualities. There may be no new stories, but there are always new treatments of stories. An old story with a twist, told with passion is what audiences everywhere are looking for.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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