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Adapting A Novel Into A Screenplay

By Author: Terry Sanders

The gift of adapting a novel into a screenplay is admirable indeed! Adapting a novel into a screenplay is immensely challenging because it requires converting several hundreds of pages to fit into the frame of an average of 120 pages. Despite these impediments, there are dozens of writers who attempt adapting a novel into a screenplay and the professionals succeed. It is crucial to preserve the veracity of the novel; its soul and spirit have to remain the same even though the body may be re-engineered to suit the conventional structure, time, and format of a screenplay. The risk of upsetting the novelist is high to the novice. It is best to have the novelist on your side before beginning to rip the story apart at your convenience. Get approval from the author; make sure you uphold the fans' expectations as well as those of the movie executives, and studio while adapting a novel into a screenplay.
Adaptation is a compelling way to force the screenplay writer to think logically about the story. Adopting a novel into a screenplay means an enormous amount of the original material may have to be left out. The story may have to be restructured, and even a few characters may have to be left out while new ones are introduced. Scenes may need to be reshuffled or reshaping. You may even be required to invent new scenes or conflate a few scenes together to make the screenplay flow smoothly. The transitions will have to be invented to keep the action moving forward. Soon, the entire plot line will become seamless. Adopting a novel into a screenplay becomes your baby, and it will have the twists you want.
When adopting a novel into a screenplay all the elements of the story have to be externalized so they may don a visual robe. Whatever the author had described at great lengths must be shown to the audience. Being faithful to the story is the only way to develop a passion for the story, and this will goad you to put all your efforts into the project to create a unique and successful story. The first step in adopting a novel into a screenplay is to read the manuscript thoroughly several times. Put it aside for a few days and think of the scenes, story, characters, and the sequence of events.
The rough version ought to start taking shape in your head. If something seems amiss, give the story a new dimension, introduce a new character, or add a minor subplot. End the screenplay dramatically, and leave the audience spellbound and thirsting for more. There are invariably certain expectations from the script. Now that, you have the script ready, you can market it to the best of your ability or hire a professional to help.

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