Why is Script Writing Different From Book Writing and Copywriting?
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the majority of your human life, chances are that you might have stumbled upon numerous forms of literature in your time. Means of communication have been evolving since the dawn of human life and their uses aren’t limited to plain collaboration. Over millennia they have also been sculpted in beautiful ways to incite ardent feelings of romanticism, patriotism, disgust, hatred, love, and a plethora of other feelings on the spectrum of emotion. Such is the form of communication that is called writing. The creativity of the human mind has found room for there to be writings that might fit the world of rational every-day people working 9-5 jobs, and also for men of passion that discourage rationality and romanticize inherent feelings of spiritualism, holding them in a place of respect. It is interesting to note that within itself, writing encompasses various other forms of expression that work very differently and uniquely from all others.
All of these writing forms essentially boil down to four much-generalized types of writing: Expository, Descriptive, Persuasive, and Narrative. To give a brief account of all of these, Expository writing deals strictly with facts and figures like in science articles, journalism; there is no room for fiction and opinions open to interpretation. Descriptive writing would pertain to the arena that is of diary writing, fictional journals, and poetry. Creating a vivid image for the reader to use their senses and visualize, is what this kind of writing caters to. Persuasive writing is a sort of appeal, a manipulation to the reader hoping for them to take action. It is extensively used in marketing and related areas. Finally, Narrative writing is essentially the writer telling a story, fictional or otherwise, and basing the narrative on characters and tracking and following them throughout their journey.
Now that one understands the essence of what writing comes down to, this article would mainly focus on three very distinct types of writing: Scriptwriting, Book writing, and Copywriting.
For convenience and getting a better understanding of the subjects mentioned, let us begin with the concept of Book Writing. From the ancient period of your preschool, right up to this moment, my best bet would be that at least 3/4 of your entire life’s reading would’ve come out of books. Needless to say, Book Writing is the expression of arguments, ideologies, personas, stories and so much more. Some find pleasure in the factual and flavorless school textbooks, and for some, there is divinity in every book other than the former. Regardless, books form a significant part of all the knowledge and creativity our minds house, and writing one would seem like a daunting task. And why wouldn’t it? An average book read by adults comprises at least 90,000 words, and a teen book, around 55,000. The premise of book writing may seem like a piece of cake, but in reality, it sometimes takes months, if not years for authors to really get that crisp and flavor in their writing. Suppose you have your big million-dollar idea for a book like Danielle Steele had. How good are you with words, dear reader? Playing ball with someone’s emotions through the mere use of words is a herculean task, might I tell you. It is key that you research the genre that you intend to express your findings and thoughts. People intending to share facts might do the necessary research, people intending to write (auto/)biographies might pull research upon the person they’re writing about, so far and so on. It is a very useful and intriguing part of our lives and a very fruitful task if executed correctly.
Moving on to our second candidate, Script Writing. It is the art of penning down the movements, emotions, facial expressions, wording/dialogue, and atmosphere in what might someday be a motion screenplay. Something very interesting to note here is how book writing is different from this genre of writing. Although their premise would be very different, that is, the book appealing to the creativity and intellectuality of a person’s mind and scripts appealing to one’s visual stimulus, in essence, they are the same. Storytelling is their essence. The normal differences are noticeable, like the format and the overall mannerism combined with the writing. But the essential difference is, as previously mentioned, that Scripts incline very much to the visual side, that is, they present their content to the audience with real-life people playing characters. These are generally written for movies, television-content, video games, and to throw in modernity, TV shows. You might have observed how in a book one could just write what a character is feeling. In this arena, however, one ought to externalize the character’s feelings and ideologies in a way that they complement the arc.
A fitting example of this would this line: “She fell in love with the crescent moon.” In a book, this sentence would make complete sense, yes? But in a script, this sentence would add absolutely no value to the art. One might be curious as to why that is. Well, there is no one to tell the perceptive audience that the character has, indeed, fallen in love with the beauty that is the crescent moon. However, a clever montage of the girl sitting on a peaceful rooftop at night observing the divine beauty of said crescent moon would do justice to the above-mentioned sentence. This is how the contrast between story writing and scripts is visible, for scriptwriting is an audio-visual journey, in front of an audience that is observant and wants to truly experience a scene as one involving humans and how it’d play out in actuality. In my humble opinion, the essence of a good script is for it to be inherently simple and creative, and for the story to flow out of the characters in a way that isn’t forced, but natural and free.
Finally, last but certainly not the least, Copyrighting. In my perspective, this is the most intriguing of the three. Let us start this one off with an intriguing example of the late 1950s era. While the air was cleaner and everyone was trying to force fabrics around their hourglass-bodies, Rolls Royce was about to take the market by a storm. The man responsible for the brilliance displayed and the profits collected would be none other than the legendary copywriter, David Ogilvy. Taking his job at Rolls Royce as seriously as a fellow could, he is most famous for delving into meticulous research for about three weeks in hopes to find a fitting slogan for the most recent variant of the company’s manufacture. After all of this research, the final headline came to say, “At 60 miles per hour the loudest noise comes from the electric clock”. It is this level of eagle-eyed observation that gets the attention of an ardent reader and really makes one think. It took him this level of dedication and that amount of time to find a detail compelling enough to sell a Rolls-Royce.
Therefore we can now say that Copywriting is basically words, written or otherwise, trying to persuade someone to take an action after they have read or heard them. It is rather extensively used in marketing and advertising, although the aim of persuasion is exclusive to this type of writing. It can be defined as a call-to-action but on scales of corporate heights, which prove to be touching the skies. Copywriters aim to make you feel, think and act all at once, whilst being cursed with the poverty of being given only a few words to accomplish said task. On the contrary, blog writers such as myself have the luxury to pour our hearts out onto our pieces to make our cases airtight. Copywriting forms the foundation of your content marketing, SEO, and growth hacking, and it gives body to your beautiful designs. The above-mentioned methods might be principal to one’s digital marketing plan, yet the glue that promises to hold together your online presence and public visibility is copywriting. To convert your precious readers to gradual customers, copywriters ought to know about their product inside out. Then, and only then, will there be any semblance of a good copy result, as seen in the case of Ogilvy. It is key for one to have extensive knowledge and insight upon whatever they intend to write.
The main differences amongst all of these nuanced forms of communication are either the tone of their writing, the explanation of a circumstance, or the media where they are utilized. As mentioned above, the souls of book writing and scriptwriting are alike, what differs is the body through which the media choose to express and glorify themselves. Copywriting is a different game overall, although still capable of tickling one’s intrigue. Of course, there still exist multifarious methods for humans to express and manipulate their intention. Like literature, there exist a plethora of artistic forms waiting for you to unfold them. All you have to do, my friend, is be curious.
- Means of communication have been evolving since the dawn of human life and their uses aren’t limited to plain collaboration.
- All of these writing forms essentially boil down to four much-generalized types of writing: Expository, Descriptive, Persuasive, and Narrative.
- Book Writing is the expression of arguments, ideologies, personas, stories and so much more.
- Script Writing is the art of penning down the movements, emotions, facial expressions, wording/dialogue, and atmosphere in what might someday be a motion screenplay.
- Copywriting is basically words, written or otherwise, trying to persuade someone to take an action after they have read or heard them.