Screenplay? Novel? Short story? Poem? How do we discover the form our story takes? An example is my screenplay The French Baker, which chronicles a Frenchman’s experience during WWII. Not only do I still play with the plotline, but I wondered if it craves another form. Would it benefit more as a long-form narrative?
The Maineah Show, which I’m currently working on, began as a sitcom. But as I’ve worked with it and written several episodes, I find it may be more documentary-like. In fact, I don’t think I’ll actually script episodes. I want to capture what true Mainers do, and moreover, identify what it means to be a true Mainer.
Form is as important as story. Of course, many stories can share forms, but they begin in one form or another. And I think discovering the appropriate form is necessary work. Enjoyable, but work. As of yet, I don’t have any theories or processes to acknowledge the right form. Sometimes even before I begin writing or crafting the idea I know the form. Other times, I’ll finish the story in one form and see it wanted a different option. It’s this random gut feeling or something that clicks and I know I need to change directions.
Anyhow, just something I was pondering today as I re-form one show and ponder others.
How do you identify the right form for your work?