How do I make a movie from a book I am writing?
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Pick the most visual scenes and write them in screen format. Find ways to convert inner thoughts into dialogue, action and flashbacks. From there, cut down to around 100 pages.
Good advice from Tony, convert the visuals then write the dialogue, and yes 100pgs is where you want to end if a feature. Good luck
Tough... but plot it out in an outline first. Don't just dive into the script because you'll wind up with a 150 page script that no one will want to read (because it's 150 pages). Outline the plot points and character arcs, and the first thing you need to do from there is start cutting. Cut the arcs that aren't necessary, cut entire characters if you have to. You need to streamline the story as best you can. Then you need to work on your opening. Most adaptations have completely different openings than their book variants because books and movies are paced differently. Your fist 10 pages need to be "WOW!", you don't have much more space than that to bring an audience (or executive) into a story. In a book, you can have 30-50 pages to hook someone in. There's plenty of steps to consider, but if you really want to learn more you can peep this class we did with a producer who's handled adaptations: https://www.stage32.com/webinars/Adapting-a-Book-Into-a-Film-or-Televisi...
how about finishing the book first and go from there?
THE STORY SOLUTION - '23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take' by Eric Edson is a solid resource on turning novels into screenplays by using sequences. It's also a strong read for any writer trying to upgrade their scene writing with sequence writing :)
There are a ton of how-to adaptation books on the market... all of them basically say the same thing, so doesn't really matter which one you use. But, Max is right. Finish the book first. Adaptation isn't easy... it's actually very hard. all the how-to books make it sound like you can just paint-by-numbers, but it doesn't work that way. You have to have a film sensibility and film/TV instincts to really pull it off. If you do, then go for it, if you don't you're better off finding a collaborator who is a screenwriter and do it together. Books are fine for pointing your nose, but that's about all. Finish the bloody book. :)
1) Finish the book. 2) Sell it to a major publisher. 3) Have the kind of story that will sell movie tickets internationally. 4) Have the book become a best seller... so that Hollywood wants to buy your audience. None of this is easy, and the only ones you control are #1 and #3.
You have to be willing to concise a 300-page book into 100 pages of script and make changes to the story, believe me, there will be many of them. I' m working on several of my own adaptations and found that the script and novel aren't always friendly with one another.
Thank you, everyone, for all this great information. Yes, I will finish the book first. That is my first goal with this story. So glad I ask this question here! ~Jan
Jan one thing to consider. Write the book and then sink all your effort into promoting it and making it as great as possible. Then people will pay you for the right to create a script from your book. If you have two versions (book and script) you have half as much time for promotion. That's sounds like a recipe for failure.
Thank you both, Craig and Thomas. I have a lot to think about. ~Jan
Follow Craig's advice, but also, because Thomas is spot-on, you might try connecting with a local filmmaking group like Philadelphia Filmmaking through Meetup, or our own FIFO (Fade In/Fade Out) - A Filmmaking Consortium, to see if anyone might be interested in making a teaser/trailer of your book.
Thanks, Bill. I will look into it! ~Jan
Jan. I like Bill's idea. I am currently making a trailer for one of the screenplays I adapted. However you really should have a screenplay ready to send if someone requests it. What kind of story is it and who would be your target audience?
use Viki Kings book "how to write a movie in 21 days" to get in mapped out and written quickly. don't labor over it. keep it simple.
Hi Dan, it's a middle grade novel - a contemporary, kids helping kids with their problems around Christmas story. Some of the story is from my own childhood. Thank you Stephen, I will do that. ~Jan
Jan. Would you be interested in collaborating on the screenplay?
I have a ways to go to finish the story. Can I get back to you on that, Dan?
Thank you, Dan.
As an author you will know which parts to use in your script. I have written 4 non-fiction books and have used them as a base to write 5 Features and a short. They have received 'Finalist' status in competitions and 'won' in two. Finish your book and you'll know what to put into your script which, incidentally, will probably take you on an unexpected journey. (apologies. Stage32 appears to have lost my photos).
Thank you, Patricia for letting me know. Good advice. ~Jan
Thanks for the info, A.S. Much appreciate it. ~Jan