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Finding Annie is my debut novel self published only last month. A range of people have suggested that it would make a good film. I guess I need a screenplay, but how do I do this with zero experience? Are there people out there prepared to collaborate in such an enterprise? Is there a process of submitting a novel to a film company with a view to their commissioning a screen play? Help and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Asked by: Peter Maher

  1. Andrew Newall on July 25, 2019

    I'm a bit late in replying, but another thing you could do - if you haven't already - is find out if there's a local filmmaking group or writing group you could get to. You might be surprised at what you find if you search online. Someone there could help with the screenply.

    Or find out how to format one yourself. There's plenty of help online and free scriptwriting software that formats it for you.

  2. Edward Richardson on July 10, 2019

    I still maintain my advice is sound; find a good agent and they will do the work for you. (What do other experienced writers think?)

    You say a ‘range of people’ advised you, but were they ‘in the trade’ and competent to judge? If they were members of your local writing club or group, I would say okay, but if they were friends and relations I sound a note of warning.

    People can be so nice when telling you how good your work is, and then they walk away saying (under their breath perhaps), ‘What rubbish’.

    I find agents to be blunt, for they have to earn a living too…

    The trick is to get your next book out to the agents ASAP. Don’t let the grass grow under you feet.

  3. Peter Maher on July 9, 2019

    Thanks for that input;.
    Jonathan: inprobably will but would live, "an idiots guide to screenwriting". Well, I got that right at least!
    Edward: oh that I could! My search lasted 6 months and went out to ove 100 potential agents. I got lots of polite words, "not quite my genre" and so on. That's why I went down the self-published root, but far from satisfactory. Any Agents out there watching who are prepared to take a punt!?
    Thanks Elsie: when I retired I took a course in creative writing. It was far from inspiring. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could. At least I knew how and what to write. I have no idea about the technical requirements and layout of a screenplay? Back to my need for an idiots guide.

    Any screenwriters out there watching who are prepared to take a punt!?

  4. Jonathan Hopkins on July 6, 2019

    If you wrote a novel with zero experience, I'd have thought you should be able to put together a screenplay, too.

  5. Edward Richardson on July 1, 2019

    My advice is, ‘Find a good agent’. They will do all the work for you - and negotiate film or TV rights on your behalf.


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