Writing books and screenplays both include creating characters and a storyline, but there are some stark differences between the two types of writing. However, if you’re a writer, you can write both novels as well as screenplays.

Explanation Of Novels And Screenplays

Novels are literary accounts of stories involving a character arc that offer definite prose and dialogue within the communication of different themes or subjects.

Screenplays are blueprints used for movies, composed of cinematic elements and visual portrayal to recount stories and character arcs for the screen.

Novels have the opportunity to deeply traverse through the internal motivations and backgrounds of characters, while screenplays are entrusted with showing as opposed to telling. This “showing” must be cinematic and within the limits of 90-120 pages.

Books are genuinely broadened variants of screenplay structure, plotting, and portrayal, having the liberty of depiction, prose, and no restricting page counts.

On the other hand, screenplays are just abbreviated forms of literary accounts that depict stripped-down chapters considered as “scenes” that ultimately build to an end with restricting page counts.

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What Is The Significant Distinction Between Writing Novels And Screenplays? 

The following are the significant differences between scripts and screenplays.

Descriptions Vs Dialogue 

The most significant distinction between the two is what they accentuate: novels emphasize descriptions, and screenplays emphasize dialogue.

In screenwriting, everything revolves around the dialogues. Descriptions are also used, but they should be used sparingly without any kind of embellishment, approximately just about 30% or less of the manuscript.

The descriptions are there to provide cues to the director and the cast about what should occur during the dialogues.

Dialogue is always at the prime focus. Without them, what are the characters to say? Stating this, some celebrated screenwriters utilize a ton of depictions. However, most of them are also directing the movies, so they are in the loop with the film at all times.

Creating realistic and authentic dialogues is one of the primary skills a screenwriter should possess. Dialogues should push a story forward and disclose to us who the character is by showing how they speak.

On the contrary, novels contain an equal proportion of descriptions and dialogues. Indeed, they likely lean more towards long stories.

Novel writing requires an immense level of care and accuracy. The bar can be considerably higher because you don’t have a talented actor delivering the dialogues.

Something that new authors do is that they blend screenwriting into a novel.

Maybe it is because a large portion of us watch more movies than we read books, and we frequently make dialogues more significant in our psyche than the inherent description.


One page of a screenplay is generally compared to one minute of a movie. In light of this, it is safe to state that a script would be around ninety to one-twenty pages long, while books are many times longer.

But don’t assume that since screenplays are shorter that they are simpler to compose. The reality is that each word must be so firmly written in scripts; it presents a more troublesome time for individual writers.


In novels, it is you as an author who has the final say in all matters. While maybe there is the uncommon occasion of a publisher declining to distribute a book except if the writer changes something.

But generally, the entire process is under the control of the author. They are the ones who think of the concepts, create characters, compose, re-compose, and ultimately publish the finished book.

In screenplays, a writer is only at the start of a long and complex process. A screenwriter may begin the work. However, it should be affirmed by the producer and moved to the next in command – the director, who then uses it as a device to make a film.

Usually, screenplays are not rigid and are rather used as guidelines since the director and the cast roll out regular improvements as they deem appropriate. In this way, the screenplay is just one little piece of a more significant finished work.


A writer can get more in the minds of characters in novels, though in screenplays, we see everything from an external perspective.

In screenplays, you are restricted in what you can show by what you see/hear. For instance, you may have a narrator (maybe the hero) demonstrating what is going on within the protagonist’s mind or a voice-over.

Or then again, you may have monologues of specific characters verbally thinking out loud. That is pretty much everything you can do to get within the character’s minds.

In novels, there is a wide range of choices to depict the viewpoints of various characters. You can hop from character to character and show what’s going on within each character’s mind simultaneously, or you can stay in one character’s mind for the entirety.

It is up to you. With books, more choices give greater creative liberty to the writer.


Making a film or a TV series is an expensive business. Indeed, even a low-budget television movie can cost up to 2.5 to 3 million dollars to finish.

Thus, while it might only take two or three weeks to compose, there is a significantly higher investment to pay to screenwriters. It is likely the reason why fewer movies are released than books.

Creating a novel is, obviously, not without costs. Editors are proofreading, visual planners making book covers, PR specialists marketing it, and the expenses incurred to ship the book globally.

Yet, contrasted with the expense of making a film, these expenses are altogether lower.


The pacing in both movies and novels can shift uncontrollably — a spine chilling thriller, for instance, will commonly be more immediately paced in screenplays than in novels.

Contrasted with novels, screenplays for blockbuster Hollywood movies will be quicker paced with more action, keeping the audience engaged from the fade-in to the fade-out.

screenwriting software is an intuitive tool that can help you to determine the pacing of your screenplay significantly.

On the other hand, there is art involved in pacing a novel. An author can experiment with the pacing of the novel, implying that the pacing can be languid to explore character traits and motivations that drive the plot forward.