A Screenwriter Takes To Novel Writing

Wesley Strick is a screenwriter whose credits include “Cape Fear” (1991) and “Return to Paradise” (1998). His first novel, “Out There in the Dark,” was published this year by St. Martin’s Press.

A few years ago, I called the guy at my agent’s office who handles book projects to say I was taking a break from writing movies to try my hand at a novel. “When you’re done, I’ll send it to New York,” he replied, “but probably under a false name. Publishers don’t think highly of screenwriters.”

As for what Hollywood thinks of novelists, it’s simple: Books are things to be adapted. You’ve seen the Oscar category: best adapted screenplay. And “adapt” means (look it up) to change or modify—words to give a prose writer pause unless, of course, that prose writer wants to change or modify his bank account balance. Having signed both book contracts and movie contracts, I can confirm there are more zeros in the latter.

A few more differences . . . Los Angeles Times: A writer unblocked

Los Angeles Times: A writer unblocked