Four Thought Experiments To Help You Decide

When I was grappling with whether to write my next story as a novel or a screenplay, ultimately deciding to write a screenplay that I would self-publish for the general public to read, I went through a few thought experiments to help me get there.

I thought I would share them here. I hope you find some or all of them helpful to you as well.

Just remember there is no right or wrong answer here.


THOUGHT EXPERIMENT #1: What do you envisioning it being?

In your mind’s eye do you see it as a movie? Do you hear the actors reciting the dialogue? Do you hear the musical score or the soundtrack? Sound effects, perhaps? Do you visualize the scenes so clearly it’s as if you were watching them on a screen in front of you? That you can play it scene for scene in your head, shot for shot? The editing and pacing. Those are there, too. It’s all there. As vivid as can be.

Also, maybe like I was, you may be thinking of writing it as a novel but, deep down, you know the only reason is because you think it’s the best chance of it becoming a movie.

Conclusion: write the screenplay.


THOUGHT EXPERIMENT #2: What if you constantly think of the great prose you will write, how the words will paint a picture in your readers mind and the insight you will provide your readership into your characters feelings and thoughts. You so badly want to see it as a book on a shelf in a store or an online publisher. You dream of being on the New York Times bestseller list. You hope and pray it will get picked up by a publisher. You daydream of book signings. Sure, it would be nice if it got picked up as a movie or TV series but it’s not the end of the world if not. Conclusion: write the novel


THOUGHT EXPERIEMENT #3: Which would get you more excited: winning an academy award or winning a best novel award? Your answer could tell you which format to write in.


THOUGHT EXPERIMENT #4: If someone gave you a billion-trillion-zillion dollars, what would your first inclination be? Sit down to write a novel or sit down to write the screenplay and make it into a movie? Whatever your gut reaction is, that’s your answer.

If I think of others I will be sure to post them but these four really helped me find my truth and settle on a screenplay.

What do you think? Comment below if you like. Look forward to the discussion and feedback.

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Jason Srebnick
jason.srebnick@gmail.com