After writing an “episode” (about three or four chapters that would get an hour on a Netflix or HBO series), I dug out the screenplay draft of Storming Amargosa. This is an odd way to write a novel. You have two write it twice before you can revise it. And what a strange process it is going from drama to prose.
A script, by its nature, is mostly dialog with a few lines of description or stage direction. It’s the latter that poses the most challenge. When you write description, it’s because you have specific ideas for how a character should be made-up or rendered or how they dress, how they walk, how they act. Or you need to have certain things appear in a setting. Stage direction is mainly moving characters around and having them react silently. All this can be handled in a line or two or within a paragraph.
Instead, I find myself writing 200-300 words to cover sometimes two non-dialog lines. It’s part of how this ended up being 10,000 words in less than a week. In those two lines, there’s a whole lot of action. Or it takes longer to show what’s happening and where.
The tricky part is doing montage scenes. I wrote these as transitions, such as when the Gelt decide to crackdown on the remaining humans on Amargosa. Do I do disconnected scenes of random people fighting in dramatic third person? Or does a main POV character need to be present to be the eyes of the audience? I need to work this out in revisions.
This may indeed make the story faster to write, but it has its drawbacks. Still, many of the problems I’m running into are problems some writers have adapting movies to novels.