Published By: Ahvana Paul

Interested in making a script? Here’s how to adapt books into perfect screenplay

Are you someone who is into scriptwriting or keen on trying out this art form? Then one of the best sources of inspiration that you can get is probably from books. Books can provide excellent stories which could make fabulous scripts! If you are keen on adapting the book to the screen, here are some tips for you!

Read the book a few times before starting

The first thing that you must do is to read the book that you plan on adapting, at least 2-3 times! This way you can get into the book, absorb the details, and identify all the parts that you wish to incorporate into a script! It provides you with the narrative and the complexities.  The first time, read it for enjoyment, the second time, read it for the details and the third time, read for memory!

Identify and make notes of the scenes which are gripping

While you are reading it, make sure to write down detailed notes of the parts you found specifically interesting and gripping, which made you go “Yes, I would love to see that in a film!”. However, remember, that when you are reading it, your attention to it might be different as compared to later, when you might end up forgetting. So to make sure, that you keep in mind what particularly attracted your attention, make it a habit to take detailed notes of things you found interesting! This can be in the form of bullet points describing the scene, or even potential notes of how it would be depicted in the film! Though tedious, if you carry out this process, a lot of your thought process will be clear when you start putting things together!

Absorb the essence, even if some details have to be omitted

One of the biggest drawbacks of cinema is that you cannot incorporate every little detail in your film that is there in the book, even if you want to! Therefore, you will eventually be selective in this process of transforming the story into a script!  What you have to do carefully, is to make sure that you absorb the essence of the book, to successfully propagate the real idea and structure and narrative of the book! Make a conscious choice, of which scenes add to this plot! This will also be woven with your hopes from the script, that is why a certain scene is more important than the other! Build a proper flowchart, to help you out in this.

Be innovative, but be faithful to the elements of the book

Another very important thing is that you should maintain a balance between the story in the book and how you want to put it out! Sticking to the story without any changes or interpretation is a bad mistake and should be avoided, as it would cause boredom and wouldn’t make it interesting! At the same time, too many innovations, twists and ideas might cause immense chaos and make the script messy! Maintain a balance- innovate, but stick to the frameworks set forth by the book.

Consult others you know who love the book to get an idea of what people want!

Ask people what they would like in a movie about the book! Listen to these opinions, and get an understanding of which parts people particularly love or consider key to the plot! Remember cinema is for the public, so taking popular opinion while adapting will go a long way!