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While waiting for the second round of edits for my first novel, Only Tim Sent Flowers, it finally occurred to me that the book might serve as the basis for a good movie. Tookie, my protagonist, is a fascinating and unusual character whose coming of age story might be interesting to a movie audience. That she dived wholeheartedly into the sexual revolution before her nineteenth birthday and first rested her groin after her fortieth birthday make her sexual experiences central to her story. Thus, the book is quite explicit but not pornographic.

I have two problems writing the screenplay, the first being keeping the sex scenes from appearing pornographic, lousy pornography at that. Because we’re not supposed to include camera directions in spec scripts, I can’t shift the camera away from her when she drops to her knees to give him oral sex to the guy’s face while she is blowing him. However, I think I can suggest camera directions by showing his reactions to her handiwork and by giving him a little dialog to keep the camera on him. Also, I don’t need to show the whole encounter, just the beginning and the end but don’t know how to skillfully cut out the middle. Perhaps, I could do a fade out and fade in to accomplish this. Maybe someone can suggest a better approach.

My second major problem is that Tookie keeps her feelings, other than anger, close to the vest, sharing little with others. Books allow writers much latitude with the use of internal dialog by placing things she doesn’t want other characters to hear in italics. I recall Woody Allen using voice overs in some of his movies to allow his characters to talk directly to the audience without other characters hearing this dialog. I think I’ll give this a try.

I’m quite willing to share drafts with readers to get feedback. Next time, expect to see a rough cut of the scene in which Tookie seeks to rid herself of her virginity.