In my last post, I explained how I came to write my first book. Now I’ll discuss my thoughts on the process of converting my script to a book:
In short, my script was about three kids who must decipher clues hidden around St Augustine, FL to find Verlof’s treasure. There was very little in the script about the fictitious Verlof and the origins of his treasure. As I pondered converting my script to a book, I felt it might be fun to start the book in the distant past, as Verlof battled to get the treasure. As my brain rattled around, I decided it would be even more fun if the treasure was based on actual hidden treasure, which led me to search the internet for “hidden treasure Florida”. The results revealed many blood thirsty pirates and the promise of their hidden treasures.
One of the stories, the story of the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar intrigued me to no end. As an officer of the Spanish Navy, Gaspar was accused by a scorned lover of stealing the crown jewels, decided to commandeer his own ship and pledged revenge on any ship flying the Spanish flag. This seemed the perfect back-story for my book. The pirate Jose Gaspar took the name Gasparilla, and so did my book.
The prologue of Gasparilla’s Treasure now told the detailed story of how and why Jose Gaspar became a pirate, and then how his ship was torn to shreds by an enemy ship. Alas, my wife, who I trust to no end, was bored by the back story and the prologue was rewritten and reduced to its current form, which as painful as it was for me, was an excellent choice, giving the beginning of the book drive and momentum.
Then I set out to convert my existing script to a book. The story, characters, and dialogue were all there, so all I needed to do was make those elements flow as a book. It was freeing to be able to mention how a character felt, and mention things that may have happened in the past; something you have to steer clear of in a screen-play. I expanded descriptions of locations, added subtle plot points, and felt the project was moving along nicely. Before I knew it, I held a completed manuscript in my hand.
Again, I looked to my wife as a first reader, and much to my dismay, she had a difficult time reading the story. My text did not flow and my sentence structure was awkward; not qualities you look for in a best seller. As with my first scripts, I learned that I had to think like a writer. I dove back into the story with my wife’s notes in mind, and immediately saw the errors of my non-writer ways. Hours were spent digging through the pages of my story, correcting my mistakes. Next I forced my wife to read it again, and things were better now.
My next blog will cover editing, book trailer, and thoughts on publishing…