Writing a #Novelization: Moms’ Night Out by @triciagoyer

Photo from Choose NOW Ministries

Today’s guest is Tricia Goyer, my fellow blogger at Choose NOW Ministries. Tricia is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope.

In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms.

In December, she received an unexpected phone call from her agent, who asked if she would be interested in writing a novelization of a movie. What writer wouldn’t be excited to get a request like that? But the next question we’d all ask was exactly what Tricia asked:

“What movie?”

After all, you don’t want to commit yourself to any old project. Right?

“Moms’ Night Out.” Is what Tricia heard, along with the smile in her agent’s voice. She was quite excited about this opportunity. As we all would be. But where would you start? So many writers think about their books becoming movies. We think about writing a screenplay and the difficult task of converting a manuscript into a movie script. Tricia is here today to share with us how she did the opposite! She took a movie and turned it into a book. But first, watch the trailer for the movie.



Why was Tricia excited about this project? She says, “I liked the concept of the movie, mostly because it reminded me of my life.”

MomsNightOutNovelCVRMoms’ Night Out is an endearing true-to-life family comedy that celebrates the beautiful mess called parenting. The movie stars Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, and Trace Adkins. It opens in theaters May 9th.

“It’s about mothering. It’s about the mess of mothering. It’s about friendships and relationships. It’s about life—my life,” Tricia continues.

Of course she wanted to work on this project but there were just a few obstacles:

She had a non-fiction book for teen moms she needed to finish first.

Christmas was coming and so was a family vacation to Disney World.

She wanted to write the novelization, but was worried she wouldn’t have enough time. But after much prayer, she and her husband felt that God would make a way. So she said, “Yes.”

So what does the process of turning a movie into a book look like?

First you have to watch the movie!

“I fell in love with the movie the first time I saw it. It was great. Really great!”

After that, Tricia got to work!

“I began writing it by looking at the script. I compared what was similar and what was different. I went through the movie, and I wrote down all of the dialogue. I listened to some exchanges over and over again, just to make sure I got it right. After the dialogue was done, I went back and created the scenes. One thing I especially loved was going deeper with the characters and including their internal thoughts. I felt as though I could relate to each of the main characters: a teen mom (Bridget), a busy mom with three little kids (Allyson), a pastor’s wife (Sondra). (OK, I’m not a pastor’s wife, but I am in ministry, so I understood her need to feel as though she had to measure up to everyone’s expectations.) I had a great experience turning a movie into a novel, and I hope I get to do it again! One of my favorite parts was going to a pre-screening and seeing the reaction of the audience as they watched the movie. It was fun seeing how much they enjoyed the story . . . just like I had!”

Thank you, Tricia, for sharing with us today!

The novel released April 1st. Here’s where you can order Moms’ Night Out!

Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.

This post was provided to me by Tricia and I adapted it. You can view the original post at her blog.

Published by Sherri Wilson Johnson

I am a wife/mother/writer/speaker looking to be used by God!

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