Adapting Your Novel into a Screenplay:  Take the Story from Book to Script

Adapting Your Novel into a Screenplay: Take the Story from Book to Script

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Adapting a novel into a film is a daunting task, even for an experienced screenwriter. This is because the main ways a novel communicates the story to a reader can’t just be copied and pasted into a film script. Any writer adapting a novel needs to understand the strengths of each medium and how to write to those strengths. It’s not enough to understand traditional approaches to screenwriting. To adapt a novel, the writer needs a very specific tool-kit. This webinar has been designed to provide that tool-kit.

This recorded webinar will show writers how to find the script hidden in the pages of the novel. The learning process will start by exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each format. By understanding how a novel gives access to the inner life of their characters using very different techniques from film. From this start, we can start to see some of the challenges an adaptation presents. The next step is to learn how adaptation isn’t just a simple copying of one story from one format to another, but instead, there is a range of choices to be made about how true to the original book the film will be. Once the writer understands the options before them, the webinar will demonstrate three high-quality techniques for breaking the book down into the information needed to plan and write the screenplay. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session where points raised can be expanded on or where specific issues can be brought up.

The training will be delivered by a British, Royal Television Society, award-winning screenwriter, with multiple credits for both writing and directing.


  • How the differences between a novel and a film can be an asset to writing your script
  • How to chose the right adaptation style for your project, from verbatim to re-imagination
  • How to use a character-spreadsheet to break down a novel
  • How to use a structured beat-sheet to simplify and explore plots
  • How to use “seed-scenes” as a way to find your way into the story
  • How to use cinematic writing techniques to show the character’s inner life


  • Writers who want to attempt their first adaptation
  • Writers who want to add adaptation to their skillset
  • Writers who have tried to adapt a novel but who became overwhelmed by the complexity of the process
  • Writer’s who want to take on a difficult adaptation
  • Novelists who want to adapt their own novel into a screenplay
  • Novelists who want to collaborate with a screenwriter with a greater understanding of the process
  • Novelists who want to hire a screenwriter and who want to tell a compelling story

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.