Big SPEAK Movie News

Drum roll please!

The American premiere of the movie version of SPEAK has been changed. The film will be shown on both Showtime and Lifetime cable channels on Monday, September 5th, 2005. Yep, this is Labor Day. (Don’t have a time yet.) The Powers That Be in the film world say that this kind of simulcast has never been done before. Whatever. I’m am just thrilled that it will finally be shown!! Many thanks to Annie Young Frisbie, co-producer and co-screenplay writer, for passing on this great news!

If any of you are going to have SPEAK viewing parties, let me know here, OK. Not that I want to crash your party, but it would be fun to know the details. I can’t wait to hear what you guys think about the movie itself.

Here are some links for the curious: film details on IMDB and my web page about the movie (don’t have corrected dates on it yet).

One of my most faithful correspondents, Max, has been anxiously awaiting the film. In honor of his patience, I’ll pull his latest note from the mailbag today. (BTW Max, you get the award for asking the best questions!)

Max writes: This may sound like a dumb question, but do you think a lot of dialogue is required in a book? Do you think that dialogue should be a huge chunk of the book, or are some books better off with more descriptions and personal thoughts? Sometimes, I just start writing dialogue but then later, I feel it would might have been easier to get my point through by just writing what she thought instead of a whole conversation. I also want to ask you about the revision process. Is there a certain way that you revise your books that really works for you?

There is not an easy answer here because it depends on the needs of the book and the character. There is not a lot of dialog in SPEAK because a major plot point is that the main character doesn’t talk much. There is much more dialog in PROM because that main character has a busy family and friends, so it makes sense that she has to talk a lot.

The book I’m writing now seems to be going this way: Step 1 – develop a scene that has a long, long chunk of dialog. Step 2- Fret about length of dialog. Step 3 – Cut dialog. Step 4- Fret that scene is missing crucial elements. Step 5 – Write new dialog. Step 6 – Finally figure out character motivations and the point of the scene. Step 7 – Develop actions that will remove the necessity of some dialog (SHOW DON”T TELL). Step 8 – Trim back dialog again. Step 9 – Vow not to look at scene for a week or so. (a week later) Step 10 – Trim dialog even more. Less is always better, IMHO.

78 Replies to “Big SPEAK Movie News”

  1. HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY for the Speak movie! I can’t wait! I’ve already put it on my calendar. Keep us posted on the time and any other news.

    One question: Do you recommend rereading the book prior to seeing the movie? I have to admit it’s been years since I’ve read SPEAK (and it still ranks as a top fave of mine).

  2. HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY for the Speak movie! I can’t wait! I’ve already put it on my calendar. Keep us posted on the time and any other news.

    One question: Do you recommend rereading the book prior to seeing the movie? I have to admit it’s been years since I’ve read SPEAK (and it still ranks as a top fave of mine).

    1. Oooohhhh, tough call.

      I am one of those folks who believes firmly in the separation of film and book. But I eagerly participate in conversations which compare the two. (From the craft perspective, I think there is a lot to be learned about story structure from analyzing the choices made by screenplay writers. We should talk about that sometime.)

      My recommendation – don’t reread the book right now. That will allow you to come to the movie with more of an empty slate, and the enjoy the movie for its own sake. But after the movie, reread the book. Then tell me what you think!

  3. HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY for the Speak movie! I can’t wait! I’ve already put it on my calendar. Keep us posted on the time and any other news.

    One question: Do you recommend rereading the book prior to seeing the movie? I have to admit it’s been years since I’ve read SPEAK (and it still ranks as a top fave of mine).

  4. Oooohhhh, tough call.

    I am one of those folks who believes firmly in the separation of film and book. But I eagerly participate in conversations which compare the two. (From the craft perspective, I think there is a lot to be learned about story structure from analyzing the choices made by screenplay writers. We should talk about that sometime.)

    My recommendation – don’t reread the book right now. That will allow you to come to the movie with more of an empty slate, and the enjoy the movie for its own sake. But after the movie, reread the book. Then tell me what you think!

  5. Oooohhhh, tough call.

    I am one of those folks who believes firmly in the separation of film and book. But I eagerly participate in conversations which compare the two. (From the craft perspective, I think there is a lot to be learned about story structure from analyzing the choices made by screenplay writers. We should talk about that sometime.)

    My recommendation – don’t reread the book right now. That will allow you to come to the movie with more of an empty slate, and the enjoy the movie for its own sake. But after the movie, reread the book. Then tell me what you think!

  6. I’d like to take this opportunity to both gloat and whine.

    Gloat: I saw SPEAK at Sundance in 2004, with a packed house and big screen. I loved it! Everyone loved it!

    Whine: I don’t have cable. Bah! I do, however, have it in my Netflix queue for the day the DVD is released.

    And I agree – you don’t need to reread the book now. The movie definitely stands on its own.

  7. I’d like to take this opportunity to both gloat and whine.

    Gloat: I saw SPEAK at Sundance in 2004, with a packed house and big screen. I loved it! Everyone loved it!

    Whine: I don’t have cable. Bah! I do, however, have it in my Netflix queue for the day the DVD is released.

    And I agree – you don’t need to reread the book now. The movie definitely stands on its own.

  8. I’d like to take this opportunity to both gloat and whine.

    Gloat: I saw SPEAK at Sundance in 2004, with a packed house and big screen. I loved it! Everyone loved it!

    Whine: I don’t have cable. Bah! I do, however, have it in my Netflix queue for the day the DVD is released.

    And I agree – you don’t need to reread the book now. The movie definitely stands on its own.

  9. I am so excited to see this book on TV! I really enjoyed it, I actually had a screen name called “GothGirlsWhinny” for awhile, because I liked that phrase so much. Well, I am def. gonna try and catch it on lifetime!

    Thanks!

    Tami

  10. I am so excited to see this book on TV! I really enjoyed it, I actually had a screen name called “GothGirlsWhinny” for awhile, because I liked that phrase so much. Well, I am def. gonna try and catch it on lifetime!

    Thanks!

    Tami

  11. I am so excited to see this book on TV! I really enjoyed it, I actually had a screen name called “GothGirlsWhinny” for awhile, because I liked that phrase so much. Well, I am def. gonna try and catch it on lifetime!

    Thanks!

    Tami

  12. megastellariffic

    I have been waiting SO long to hear the news that I’d finally be able to see Speak. So much so, that before I even heard that there was a movie in the works I was working on my own screenplay for the book. yay yay happy happy joy joy

  13. megastellariffic

    I have been waiting SO long to hear the news that I’d finally be able to see Speak. So much so, that before I even heard that there was a movie in the works I was working on my own screenplay for the book. yay yay happy happy joy joy

  14. megastellariffic

    I have been waiting SO long to hear the news that I’d finally be able to see Speak. So much so, that before I even heard that there was a movie in the works I was working on my own screenplay for the book. yay yay happy happy joy joy

  15. I’m over-eagerly excited for the movie, Speak. I may, however, have to tape it, being as my parents love to talk the T.V.

    (Hi, btw, I’m new to your journal, but I adored Speak and Prom since I read them both!)

  16. I’m over-eagerly excited for the movie, Speak. I may, however, have to tape it, being as my parents love to talk the T.V.

    (Hi, btw, I’m new to your journal, but I adored Speak and Prom since I read them both!)

  17. I’m over-eagerly excited for the movie, Speak. I may, however, have to tape it, being as my parents love to talk the T.V.

    (Hi, btw, I’m new to your journal, but I adored Speak and Prom since I read them both!)

  18. maybe let the character do all the talking he wants

    I agree about show don’t tell….but given the chance and the right circumstances a teenage boy will talk your head off. If your in his head, and dialog keeps consuming the pages, then doesn’t it stand to reason that he must have a lot to say. Let him talk and correct his grammar later. mwa

  19. maybe let the character do all the talking he wants

    I agree about show don’t tell….but given the chance and the right circumstances a teenage boy will talk your head off. If your in his head, and dialog keeps consuming the pages, then doesn’t it stand to reason that he must have a lot to say. Let him talk and correct his grammar later. mwa

  20. maybe let the character do all the talking he wants

    I agree about show don’t tell….but given the chance and the right circumstances a teenage boy will talk your head off. If your in his head, and dialog keeps consuming the pages, then doesn’t it stand to reason that he must have a lot to say. Let him talk and correct his grammar later. mwa

  21. Fun Fun!

    I’m not a big movie person, but I’m really looking forward to seeing Speak. Should be fun. Although I know I’m going to freak out at the climax…Ahahah when I was reading the book, I was like sooo tense…you know the part I mean, dont’ wanna say it in case people read this who haven’t read the book…But very very much looking forward to it! Congrats Laurie.
    Caitlin

  22. Fun Fun!

    I’m not a big movie person, but I’m really looking forward to seeing Speak. Should be fun. Although I know I’m going to freak out at the climax…Ahahah when I was reading the book, I was like sooo tense…you know the part I mean, dont’ wanna say it in case people read this who haven’t read the book…But very very much looking forward to it! Congrats Laurie.
    Caitlin

  23. Fun Fun!

    I’m not a big movie person, but I’m really looking forward to seeing Speak. Should be fun. Although I know I’m going to freak out at the climax…Ahahah when I was reading the book, I was like sooo tense…you know the part I mean, dont’ wanna say it in case people read this who haven’t read the book…But very very much looking forward to it! Congrats Laurie.
    Caitlin

  24. Hi I saw the screening

    Hi I saw the screening for this movie . . . well halfway cuz I arrived late, but from what I’ve seen it was pretty good. I can’t wait to see what changes they’ve done in the editing when it does show TV.
    I was very impressed with the way the director and the director of photography decided to show the “flashbacks” it was very stylistic and very pretty on screen
    Also what did you think of the girl who played the lead, Kristen Stewart?
    I found her to be mesmerizing on screen, she embodied the tortured soul of the character. Although she didn’t speak you can clearly see on her face what is going through her head.

  25. Hi I saw the screening

    Hi I saw the screening for this movie . . . well halfway cuz I arrived late, but from what I’ve seen it was pretty good. I can’t wait to see what changes they’ve done in the editing when it does show TV.
    I was very impressed with the way the director and the director of photography decided to show the “flashbacks” it was very stylistic and very pretty on screen
    Also what did you think of the girl who played the lead, Kristen Stewart?
    I found her to be mesmerizing on screen, she embodied the tortured soul of the character. Although she didn’t speak you can clearly see on her face what is going through her head.

  26. Hi I saw the screening

    Hi I saw the screening for this movie . . . well halfway cuz I arrived late, but from what I’ve seen it was pretty good. I can’t wait to see what changes they’ve done in the editing when it does show TV.
    I was very impressed with the way the director and the director of photography decided to show the “flashbacks” it was very stylistic and very pretty on screen
    Also what did you think of the girl who played the lead, Kristen Stewart?
    I found her to be mesmerizing on screen, she embodied the tortured soul of the character. Although she didn’t speak you can clearly see on her face what is going through her head.

  27. Show Don’t Tell & We Love Your Books

    Let us first start off saying that you are hearing from two very intelligent students on team vista from kingswood regional middle school hahha sorry were not conceided just excited!!!! i just finished your book prom and i am officially obsessed hehe were are close to ending this year in middle school and will be moving on to high school in about two days prom made me think a lot about these years and how its ending this is definitly one of my favortie books you’ve written so far and thanks sooo much. This book ment a lot to me -tasha

    Thanks for everything you’ve done and for all of your books…they’re all amazing and I’ve read every one of them!!! Your books truly excite me and when my geography teacher purchased your latest, Prom, I read it front to back so quickly b/c I just couldn’t put it down!!!!!! Thanks for your inspiration and love of writing b/c I am a writer wanna-be 🙂 Thank you! Lots of love and happy reading and writing (the 2 best things on Earth). Love, Lia

  28. Show Don’t Tell & We Love Your Books

    Let us first start off saying that you are hearing from two very intelligent students on team vista from kingswood regional middle school hahha sorry were not conceided just excited!!!! i just finished your book prom and i am officially obsessed hehe were are close to ending this year in middle school and will be moving on to high school in about two days prom made me think a lot about these years and how its ending this is definitly one of my favortie books you’ve written so far and thanks sooo much. This book ment a lot to me -tasha

    Thanks for everything you’ve done and for all of your books…they’re all amazing and I’ve read every one of them!!! Your books truly excite me and when my geography teacher purchased your latest, Prom, I read it front to back so quickly b/c I just couldn’t put it down!!!!!! Thanks for your inspiration and love of writing b/c I am a writer wanna-be 🙂 Thank you! Lots of love and happy reading and writing (the 2 best things on Earth). Love, Lia

    1. Re: Show Don’t Tell & We Love Your Books

      Thank you , Lia & Tasha!! I hope you guys have a great summer filled with great books and good times. Stay safe!

  29. Show Don’t Tell & We Love Your Books

    Let us first start off saying that you are hearing from two very intelligent students on team vista from kingswood regional middle school hahha sorry were not conceided just excited!!!! i just finished your book prom and i am officially obsessed hehe were are close to ending this year in middle school and will be moving on to high school in about two days prom made me think a lot about these years and how its ending this is definitly one of my favortie books you’ve written so far and thanks sooo much. This book ment a lot to me -tasha

    Thanks for everything you’ve done and for all of your books…they’re all amazing and I’ve read every one of them!!! Your books truly excite me and when my geography teacher purchased your latest, Prom, I read it front to back so quickly b/c I just couldn’t put it down!!!!!! Thanks for your inspiration and love of writing b/c I am a writer wanna-be 🙂 Thank you! Lots of love and happy reading and writing (the 2 best things on Earth). Love, Lia

  30. Re: Show Don’t Tell & We Love Your Books

    Thank you , Lia & Tasha!! I hope you guys have a great summer filled with great books and good times. Stay safe!

  31. Re: Show Don’t Tell & We Love Your Books

    Thank you , Lia & Tasha!! I hope you guys have a great summer filled with great books and good times. Stay safe!

  32. First comment here!

    I will def. be watching Speak on Lifetime and buy the DVD. At least once a month I read that book! It helped me through so much and can relate to the way Melinda thinks.

  33. First comment here!

    I will def. be watching Speak on Lifetime and buy the DVD. At least once a month I read that book! It helped me through so much and can relate to the way Melinda thinks.

  34. First comment here!

    I will def. be watching Speak on Lifetime and buy the DVD. At least once a month I read that book! It helped me through so much and can relate to the way Melinda thinks.

  35. My crazy-yet-loveable English teacher was trying so hard this year to see if she could get her hands on the Speak movie, but found out she couldn’t. But she told us that next year when we’re not in her class, she’s inviting us over to watch it with her. I’m so excited to ee it ♥

  36. My crazy-yet-loveable English teacher was trying so hard this year to see if she could get her hands on the Speak movie, but found out she couldn’t. But she told us that next year when we’re not in her class, she’s inviting us over to watch it with her. I’m so excited to ee it ♥

  37. My crazy-yet-loveable English teacher was trying so hard this year to see if she could get her hands on the Speak movie, but found out she couldn’t. But she told us that next year when we’re not in her class, she’s inviting us over to watch it with her. I’m so excited to ee it ♥

  38. Big Fan

    First of all I would like to say that I’m a big fan of Speak and Catalyst. Also, how big of an honour it is to be writing to you.

    I can’t wait for the US premier of Speak. I’ve benn waiting to see it for a long time.

    So, any plans for Catalyst yet?

    Keep us posted.

    Thank You,
    PCVT

  39. Big Fan

    First of all I would like to say that I’m a big fan of Speak and Catalyst. Also, how big of an honour it is to be writing to you.

    I can’t wait for the US premier of Speak. I’ve benn waiting to see it for a long time.

    So, any plans for Catalyst yet?

    Keep us posted.

    Thank You,
    PCVT

    1. Re: Big Fan

      CATALYST has been optioned, but that only means someone has reserved the rights, more or less. Lots of books are optioned, few are actually made into movies. Sure would be nice, though.

  40. Big Fan

    First of all I would like to say that I’m a big fan of Speak and Catalyst. Also, how big of an honour it is to be writing to you.

    I can’t wait for the US premier of Speak. I’ve benn waiting to see it for a long time.

    So, any plans for Catalyst yet?

    Keep us posted.

    Thank You,
    PCVT

  41. Re: Big Fan

    CATALYST has been optioned, but that only means someone has reserved the rights, more or less. Lots of books are optioned, few are actually made into movies. Sure would be nice, though.

  42. Re: Big Fan

    CATALYST has been optioned, but that only means someone has reserved the rights, more or less. Lots of books are optioned, few are actually made into movies. Sure would be nice, though.

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