Screenwriting : I'm attempting to transfer my… by Lisa Vandiver

Lisa Vandiver

I'm attempting to transfer my…

I'm attempting to transfer my novels(two of them) into a screenplay, but just learning how to use the software. Any suggestions on how to cut a 120,000+ novel into a screenplay? Should I cut out all/any secondary characters that don't add to the general importance of the story?

Delaina M. Waldron

Lisa, definitely cut out all that you can, especially characters that does not help move the story. Your going to need all the space you have to fit your story in 120 pages or less screenplay.

Lisa (Riddle) West

Lisa, think of your novel like the human body... there is the flesh and there is the skeleton. Cut off the flesh, put the skeleton into your screenplay software, and start adding important tissue. Don't let it get overweight. Imagine you have a crew - director, dp, etc, adding their "bits" to your skeleton. Don't be afraid to be brutal. Good luck! If you need someone to check in with on your progress, let me know.

Lisa Vandiver

Thanks guys! I'm just getting into this so I appreciate the info. It does feel like I'm cutting old friends out. lol but I am learning to understand the differences between novel writing and script writing. A world of difference! Thanks again. Lisa Riddle West, thanks, I may call upon you for that help.;)

Clifford McKinney

Also you do not have to be quite as descriptive with scenes. Give more of a general over view. If you describe too much you put a director in a box.

Susan Haugland

I wrote a musical based on a novel I wrote - the key words being "based on." The end result was quite a bit different than the novel, just the main characters, slightly different story line in order to tie things up in under 2 hours with intermission, BUT the same basic premise and message. It took two years to carve it out, so be patient.

Chuck Dudley

I'd sketch the novel as a numbered outline. 1. Joe meets Sally at the beach. They argue about Joe's wife. 2. Mary's office. She gets the phone call from Joe. Mary's breakdown... etc etc etc... finish outline and read to be sure it flows. Then write. Your screenplay might flow differently than your novels. That's ok. Also remember in screenplays you are writing for the screen so "Show it don't say it". good luck!

Lisa Vandiver


Lisa Vandiver

Chuck, that sounds like a good idea, and thanks Susan.I'll try both of those thoughts as I write for Scriptfrenzy this month.

Other topics in Screenwriting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In