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Bret Easton Ellis is a novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of seven books, including "Less Than Zero"  and "American Psycho"—both of which were adapted into successful films. His[…]

“It’s very easy to write a script compared to a book,” says the author. A novel is not a logical thing and it doesn’t come from a logical place—a screenplay is a focused plan.

Question: Has your work as a screenwriter influenced the way rnyou write novels?
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Bret Easton Ellis: A novel is not a logical thing and it rndoesn't come from a logical place.  It comes from a really emotional rnplace.  A screenplay is a plan.  You have a plan.  You have to tell a rnstory within about 100 pages and it has to move this way and that way.  rnAnd there needs to be some sense of resolution, and it has to have this rnkind of narrative flow that a book doesn't.

And so in a way it's rnvery easy to write a script compared to a book.  I think part of the rnreason maybe screenwriting is not as much fun as writing a book is that rnyou have to adhere to a formula, and stylistically it doesn't matter howrn it's written, and ultimately it's the blueprint for medium where a rndirector and the actors are more important than the script.  And it's rncollaborative.  You get notes from producers.  You get notes from peoplern who have a lot of money who want to put their imprint on the film.  Andrn you get notes from a director who wants three, four, five more polishesrn before he's ready do shoot.

rnAnd so it's a collaborative process. And a novel is not a collaborative rnprocess.  And there are, I think, pleasures to both mediums and I like rnworking in both.  But it's a good point.  Has it affected my rnwriting—writing, you know, so many scripts? I don't think so because I rndon't look at a novel as a thing that I want to turn into a movie.  I rnmean, the novels that I write are really just literary-based.  I think rnof them as books first and foremost and I don't think of them anything rnelse.

Recorded June 23, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman

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