Adapting Screenplays to Books

Screenplays to Books

 

Usually, authors hire me to adapt their books into screenplays. Sometimes, however, they need just the opposite — an adaptation of screenplays to books.

Adapting Screenplays to Books — What You Need to Know

Screenplays are heavy on visuals, light on dialogue, action driven, and written (generally) for a 1.5 to 2 hour movie experience.

Books are a different animal altogether. The scope of a book is vast. A 20,000-word script must morph into 80,000 words, meaning a deep dive into dialogue, characterization, plot, subplots, and all the sensory elements that we find between the 200-300 pages of a book — an enormous departure from scripts.

In other words, a movie is sharp and concise, while a novel has a flow that can last weeks as readers savor the story, pick up the novel, set it down, dog-ear the pages, and take their time finishing. I’m big on readers living vicariously through the action, as if they are hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting alongside the protagonist. The setting has to be rolled out compellingly, the plot and subplots riveting, and the writing in the same vein as classic thrillers or romances or comedies.

I’m also big on getting inside the heads of main characters, their motivations, emotional scars, and hard life knocks that propel them forward and affect their judgment when adapting screenplays to books.

The Cost

There is no set industry standard rate for adapting screenplays to books. I treat it as a ghostwriting project — somewhat modified because I have the script to work with. This helps to reduce costs since the “bones” of the book are already there.

I’m a professional writer and member of the Sundance Institute. I charge average ghostwriting rates for my services — not low or high, but average — and adjust the rate based on the material available and collaborative nature of the author. This is something we can discuss and negotiate.

Contact Me to Discuss your Script to Book Project

My email is melanie@melaniesaxtonmedia.com. I’m happy to explain the script to book adaptation process and look forward to working with you!