Learning how to turn a novel into a screenplay requires understanding some ‘Do’s and Don’ts’. Often times, novel writers and screenwriters alike opt to change the class of literary composition because of various reasons of their own. Let us face it, writing a screenplay and having it converted into a movie is far more paying than writing a novel and getting it published. Therefore, aspiring writers, brimming with confidence and eyes fixed on the film industry, will go all out and master how to turn a novel into a screenplay.
Some characters, scenes, dialogues may need to be done away with or reshuffled, and new ones added. Greenhorns curious to become skilled at learning how to turn a novel into a screenplay must take inspiration by their elder, seasoned writers and read compositions by them. This will give them enough know-how and the courage to make their first attempt. The next point that must be attended to is voice.
I’m already through several chapters of the course, and was a bit hesitant about the advice Mr. Parnell gives about creating characters before we plot our story. He was right, though. I did what he said and wrote at least a page of description for 6 different characters. When I was finished, I knew what they looked like, who their friends were, how many family members they had, where they went to school, what their hopes and dreams were, and whether or not they had any odd quirks that might make them stand out from other people.
I used Arizona as a setting in the remarried empress novel and I interviewed many people in cafes, bars and such. I even used a real person and a real song with permissions. I remember one statement a remote cafe owner said, “A tornado went through here last week and did $200,000.00 in improvements.” Somehow, I left that out of the book.
Chit-chat is not dialogue. Dialogue has a specific purpose in the novel; it informs the reader of what is happening and in doing so pushes the plot forward.
Seek editor’s help and proofread. Writers often love to write without thinking about grammar, spelling and sentence construction and ideas are just often written directly on paper. To help you achieve quality output and professional work, it is important to get yourself an editor and a proofreader. There is nothing more disappointing than a book full of grammatical and spelling errors, so avoid them as much as possible.
This only scratches the surface of all the ways you can market yourself while writing your novel. I hope that these ideas will help you as you complete your novel, get published, and market like crazy to drive up sales.