Adaptations: From Novel to Screenplay

I just recently read an article written by Elizabeth Stevens on regarding adaptations. Personally I don’t see myself adapting books into screenplays anytime soon but hey, who knows later on in life.

I enjoyed the tips she gave; like the importance of knowing what one needs to remove or keep when writing the script. After all, a script is no more than 120 pages–excluding comedy which are 90 pages.

If you think about it, a novel could be 300 and something pages (or more!) and everything that has been written is important to that story; it’s the essence of it all. I think it can be overwhelming but I know the right writer will see it as a challenge fit for them.

The one thing she didn’t mentioned (maybe because everyone knows this already?) is that before the screenplay can be written one needs to get the permission of the author and this is a serious matter.

First the author has to approve of the project and then there’s also the legal matter to this. You know, royalties and such wonderful stuff.

Like I’ve mentioned, adaptations are fun and challenging. At the moment I wouldn’t go for it, but if you think you’re ready to step-up to the challenge, or need some great tips for your current project, I recommend the article she wrote “Adapting for the Screen: Heaven and Hell”

Until next time,


“Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.” ~ Colin Powell


2 thoughts on “Adaptations: From Novel to Screenplay

  1. This is exactly what I was talking about when I reviewed The Hunger Games movie. I don’t think it was the worst adaptation, but the author and the screenwriters certainly didn’t pay attention to what needed to be in and what they wanted to be in the script. Adaptations are so hard though because if the books have such a big fan following, like The Hunger Games does, it’s impossible to make everyone happy.

    1. I so agree! As I mentioned, it’s a challenge for those writers who have a niche for it. Unfortunately though, not everyone will be ever happy but that’s just part of the game.

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