How to write a screenplay based on a book that you have read February 22, 2017

Or have you even read the book? That is essentially the first exercise of your creative exercise in writing an adapted screenplay. In order to write well, you need to be able to read well too. If you have barely touched a book over the years, well then, there is work ahead for you. If you, quite clearly, do not enjoy reading at all, well then, perhaps you should try painting instead. But even there, fine artists indulge and immerse themselves in great reading excursions to become suitably inspired to create their next canvas or work of art.

If it’s been handled well, the material that goes into an adapted screenplay also becomes a work of art. Now, if you are not a practice reader and writer at this stage of your life, but are mad about the movies, well then, there is hope yet. But you need to get reading. You do not need to follow the pretentious route of studiously poring over what are defined as literary works of art or the classics. You should not be ashamed to touch popular fiction or stories that truly pique your interest or imagination.

How else do you think the likes of Tarantino or Affleck put their material together. A lot of reading and research was taking place behind the scenes and over a painstakingly long period of time. Heck, even actors must read. Just ask Affleck himself. Ask his pal Matt too, if you like. Oh, and incidentally, the pair of them once won an award for their screenplay collaboration. It wasn’t adapted material but it was pretty darn good.

Sift through some of the most acclaimed movies over the last few years and you are likely to find an adapted work buried underneath there somewhere.

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Categories: Screenplay