I almost finished this post a few days ago on the Blog Direct gadget on my iGoogle page, but something happened, and I lost it all. I may have I touched the wrong key or it just refreshed and disappeared.
Not sure if I can even recall what it was about. Something about what Tish Cohen said the other night about selling one of her books ‘direct to film’. I just about fell off my chair when she said that. I had never thought about a film for my book except as a remote possibility in a book contract long after the book came out. But the reverse order got me thinking. What would it take for a book to sell directly to Hollywood?
Tish herself revealed one feature that could be your ticket to Hollywood: a unique voice. Voice trumps everything, she said. Even if your plot is weak or your characters sketchy, you can still hit a home run with a fresh voice that grabs the reader. Once you’ve found your voice, she suggests going so far as to incorporate a hint of it into your query letter. Clearly she’s a risk taker. I would calculate my risk here and choose my words and style with care. The point is don’t make your query letter too business- like.
The other way a writer could hedge her bets on Hollywood is to focus on the scenes, making them as vivid and cinematic as possible with a lot of sensual detail. What do you see? What can you smell? What sounds do you hear? How do things feel ? How do things taste? And the 6th sense? Emotional awareness. How does it make you feel? I recently reviewed a novel by Canadian filmmaker Shandi Mitchell, UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY. The reader comes away with so many images, vivid scenes begging to be transposed to the big screen. With her background, this may be what Shandi intended.