Could You Turn Your Book Into A Movie?

By on November 15, 2016

Getting published is one thing, but getting your booked transformed into a movie is where you hit the big bucks!

There are those that we all know about the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga - these films are all multi-million-pound box office hits, and have made their authors world-famous and incredibly successful too.

Of course, you may not want to write your book with the hope that is gets made into a movie. For many authors being published is a pipe dream let alone seeing their name in lights! However, why not aim big?

Books that are turned into movies tend to have some similarities - the easier it is for filmmakers to see how your book could work on the big screen, the more likely they will want to take on the project. It's advantageous to publishers to, so is also something that they often look out for when considering a submission.

So if you are writing your novel in the hope that it will be made into a movie, pay particular attention to:

Writing dialogue

Every movie needs a good script. If you have already written great conversations between your characters in your novel, scriptwriters will be able to directly lift those conversations and use them in the script as they are. When you are writing dialogue, therefore, imagine your characters coming to life and saying the words on screen. Witty, smart, exciting dialogue will make scriptwriters jobs so much easier and therefore they’ll be more likely to consider your book.

Setting the scene

Books that do well as movies tend to have wonderfully cinematic scenes in them. Filmmakers have to think of every single detail when setting up a shot, the lighting, the camera angle, the composition - all of this is carefully considered to create a powerful ambience and engage the viewer. If you can write scenes from a filmmaker's perspective, they will be detailed, and carefully thought out. Everything will have its purpose, and the reader will be able to conjure a very clear picture in their head of what you are describing to them. Readers respond and resonate in the same way audiences at a cinema showing will do, so write like this and your ideas will easily translate from book to screen. Remember, richly descriptive scenes can be just as emotionally provoking as the actions or words of a character.

Significant action moments

A great movie has a great storyline, and even if it is not an ‘action’ movie, there will be big action moments. If you want your novel to become a movie you need the plot to be gripping, enthralling, utterly absorbing. A book without a solid plot will fall at the first hurdle regardless, but particularly when it comes to making movies, filmmakers will look for books whose storyline has plenty of action in it to keep viewers gripped throughout.

It is important to remember, however, that while your book being turned into a movie would be hugely exciting, you should never write a book with solely that purpose in mind. Screenplays are there for a reason after all, and if you get too bogged down in trying to make your story read like a movie it will be easy for it to become complicated, convoluted and confused! Thinking about how your book could translate to the movies can be helpful for your writing regardless, but it is far better to concentrate on telling your story in the way that feels most authentic and natural and to always keep in mind what we want the reader to think and feel. If you do this, the story will speak for itself.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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