The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Anniversary of an Idea

Before the book trailer, before the idea of combining book marketing with the power of short movies, a year ago last Friday I began posting on the idea of the screenplay-novel. The idea is a fairly simple one: merging the form of the screenplay with the depth of character and plot development of a novel (in other words, a screenplay-novel is a longer, more involved work than a regular screenplay).

The idea of writing fiction in screenplay form is not especially new; satirists have been doing this for decades. But where I think the screenplay-novel idea is new is in terms of combining images ("stills") with the text, and also in writing a text that is more novelistic in its style than an actual screenplay would be. (I was once criticized for failing to write a correct screenplay; it's a failure I was proud of achieving.)

Below is the "screenplay-novel trailer" to the work I've been laboring on -- Truth Marathon. It's a story that works on several at once. It is a social novel about Paul, an impoverished teacher trying to survive in the cut-throat world of contract work while helping his mentally unstable father -- an apparent crank who insists that there was a conspiracy behind Pearl Harbor. It's a love story about the relationship that develops between Paul and a co-worker -- a beautiful Korean-Canadian named Sarah. And it's about the weight of history: Sarah is haunted -- by mysterious events in her own background, as well as by the history of her native country. It turns out that Korea, too, had its own "Pearl Harbor".

Here is the trailer. Here are FAQs about the screenplay-novel idea. Here is art that might go with the publishing project. Here is an outline that also gives some historical context and explains why this novel works on several levels. And here is the very first excerpt from Truth Marathon.

I've completed the manuscript. If you're an agent or editor interested in seeing the complete work, you can contact me at fharvor at yahoo dot com.


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