Adapting Novels Into Screenplays


Why should authors adapt their book or novel to a screenplay? Quite simply, because there's a huge boom in the industry for novels being adapted to film and book series being adapted to TV series! So authors have a fantastic opportunity to get their work optioned.

Here's everything you should know about Hollywood's new book boom ~ how changes in TV, film and book publishing, including the pandemic, have driven a boom in book adaptations. Here'some articles to help authors to adapt their books to scripts:

LoLoPaige Thu, 25/02/2021 - 09:16

Hi Paula,

I would love to turn my romantic suspense/action adventure wildfire series into a series or a movie. It's just so time consuming, while I'm still building my backlist as a new author. Just finished second novel tonight, in fact! I have a lifetime of acting on stage and in film with local productions and worked as an extra on several Hollywood films. So I have a good grasp of what goes on in front of and behind the camera.

I've written several plays and the one screenplay I wrote landed a 3rd place in an L.A. film festival. BUT, is there a book or a speedier technique for turning novels into screenplays? I have Syd Fields and a ton of other books, but none that talk about adapting novels.

I am told my dialogue is good. Which is vital to any play and screenplay. So I'd love to try it. What stops me is the TIME in converting it over.

I'd appreciate any suggestions you may hae! Thank you so much!

Lois Simenson

Eagle River, Alaska

CharlieWrites Mon, 08/03/2021 - 11:21

Hi Lois,

I really resonate with what you're saying about how time consuming it can be to adapt from a novel to a screenplay. It can be hard to find the time to adapt your work in this way, but it really is a great time to be doing it! There are so many recent success stories that have come from novel adaptations. Think Bridgerton, for example!

For me, it's so difficult to lose those intricately crafted details and words that just aren't necessary in screenplays. It's the letting go.

Looking forward to Paula's advice.


Paula Sheridan Mon, 08/03/2021 - 17:04

Hi Lois, I know exactly what you mean. I am struggling to find the time to adapt my trilogy into a TV series as I think it would be great and a match for Outlander!

I don't think there is an easy way but I wish there was, like we could wave a magic wand and get writing software to transfer from one writing format to another. Sadly, there isn't so it's a time thing that is needed. If you find the answer, please let me know and share it here for other authors who want to adapt their books into scripts for our amazing judging panel to see.

CharlieWrites Mon, 22/03/2021 - 11:02

Wow, I'm so excited to see that Page Turner Awards are now accepting books to be considered for script adaptation in the Screenplay Award!

This is SUCH a brilliant opportunity for writers like myself who haven't got the time or experience to adapt their manuscripts, but would LOVE to get their work in front of film producers!

Really starting to imagine seeing my story on the big screen...

Fingers crossed, and best of luck to all that enter.

Dana Wayne Fri, 04/06/2021 - 20:00

I just found this contest and entered one of my books that I can literally see as a movie (in my own mind of course). This is such a great opportunity for someone like me with no background in screenplays or adaptations. Regardless of how it pans out, is a great learning experience!

Thanks Paula and all.

I think the mindset is also very different between a novel and screen play. The action, movement, sounds are important in both, but in a screen play you see and feel the story developing and arching differently. We entered a screen play with high hopes as well as feedback to help us. Enjoying this forum a great deal.

Best to all, Rox