Are You Ready to Adapt Your Novel | Pauline Baird Jones

Are You Ready to Adapt Your Novel?

"We want to turn your book into a movie!" 
"Your book would make a great movie!"

Have you been approached by a producer or production company? Has someone told you that your book would make a great movie? Are you longing to turn your book into a movie script? Although some producers do option books, many prefer to deal with a script that has already been adapted. There are two ways to go: pay someone to do the adaptation or do it yourself.

While there are many writers out there more than willing to do it for you, it can be very expensive. You're paying for the writer's screenwriting experience: an adaptation is really a new way to tell your story and requires unique skills. They'll either want to be paid upfront or, less often, you can find a writer willing to work on "spec." That means the writer won't be paid unless the script is sold or optioned. Either way, you'll need a solid contract and you'll have to give up fifty percent, or more, of the money. Or, you can stretch your skills as a writer and learn how to adapt the novel yourself.

When I first considered adapting my novel, I Love Luci – When I Don’t Want to Kill Her there were some who believed that because the techniques were so different, novel writing ruined screenwriters and screen writing ruined novelists. They were separate entities and never the twain should meet.

As I went through the process, I could see their point. A novelist can use the full slate of writing tools to tell a story, such as moving in and out of characters' heads, to reveal information or show character development or just telling the reader something key.

Script writing is very tight, very visual writing and is only about what can be seen. And you only have 120 pages, or less, to tell your story.

Despite the naysayers, I found it to be a rewarding and interesting experience—and not nearly as mystical and mysterious as some would have you believe.

Like any other kind of writing, with the right information, mastery is possible.

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