Sunday, June 7, 2009

The differences between a novel and a movie script

The most basic difference between a novel and a movie script is the fact that the novel is a finished product, while a movie script is a mere blue print.

While a writer of a novel is expected to paint an image with a lot of words, a writer of a movie script is praised for his/hers minimal use of words. A novel does not need to stay within time limits and formats. In a movie script one page is one minute of film. A lengthy description does either slow the pace of the movie if filmed as written, or the film’s final length cannot be estimated correctly.

Most novels are written as “he walked” while a movie script always is in the form “he walks”.

A novel can have several main characters and the story might be about a situation rather than a specific person’s development. A movie script is one person’s story, one person’s development (sure there are other characters, but the focus is on one character). This could cause an adaption of a novel into movie script to become a completely different story, like Tom Clancy’s books.

A movie cannot be forever. It has a limited length during which the story must be told. A book has physical limitations for when it becomes impractically thick and big, but the novel could be split into several books. A movie is rarely split in the same way, although there are exceptions like Kill Bill and Lord of the Rings.