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How To Adapt A Book Into A Screenplay

By Author: William Thomas
Total Articles: 38

Would you like to learn how to adapt a book into a screenplay? Then, read on and find some useful tips to assist you along the way. A screenplay is a form of literary composition. Writers prepare it to guide the members of the crew to shoot the movie or teleplay. It contains dialogues, is divided into acts and scenes and gives general directions regarding how to proceed.
A book is also the textual representation of a story, but it is written using an entirely different format. It is usually much longer than a screenplay. While a film focuses on visual elements, the book is descriptive, perhaps covering lengthy spans of time. It is important to pay attention to the guiding principles of how to adapt a book into a screenplay before undertaking the ambitious project. After all, a book and a screenplay are two entirely different anthologies. In a screenplay, the author has to put in concerted efforts to shorten the book severely and delve only on its essence, without losing track of the main plot. A minute on the screen equals about a page of the screenplay.
How to adapt a book into a screenplay may seem a massive task at first, but this presumption will fade away if you have set your mind on it. Make sure to obtain rights to the book prior to starting to write. Rights are generally held by the author of the book, the publisher or a surviving relative of the author. Optioning the book is a good idea, but it might not work if somebody else purchases the copyrights before you can complete the adaptation. Another important tenet of learning how to adapt a book into a screenplay is to remember to focus on dialogue and action in the screenplay. The characters' emotions have to be expressed via dialogues and action of the characters. That is why the earliest sound films were known as 'talkies'. Retain the key scenes, dialogues, and about seven characters of the book that drive the plot forward. Certain scenes and characters may be combined to fit the format of the screenplay.
Learning how to adapt a book into a screenplay effectively has long been a subject of contention among writers. Readers of a book can flip a few pages back if any clarification is needed, but viewers of a movie do not enjoy similar opportunities. Therefore, no part of the screenplay must lead to any ambiguity. You can begin the screenplay on a different note from the book. It is important that the flow or sequence of events be maintained so the audience is entertained and get their money's worth. The end too, must be dramatic, with a tilt of the viewers' sympathies towards the protagonist.
Mastering how to adapt a book into a screenplay will seem straightforward if you first become thoroughly conversant with the book being adapted. Use the present tense all through the screenplay. Converting one art form from another is an exacting task and needs practice. Following through with how to adapt a book into a screenplay is simplified when you hire a professional writer to help you achieve your goal.

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