Converting to script 1 – Just Like Starting Over
Ok, I wrote a book last year “Just Like Starting Over”. I had this self published through Lulu… see my other article for thoughts on that. Though this was a good way to create a buzz about the book, the actual selling of the book wasn’t at blockbuster Harry Potter levels or anything. Not that I expected that.
However, looking back on the book and one thing became clear. It did not have to die with this publication and using all the skills I have I could easily create a film from the material. Now you could accuse me of being egotistical for thinking/attempting this… after all if 300 book agents didn’t think the book would be ‘suitable for us’ then how will I convince 300 script agents that it was. Well, in my head… you have to believe in yourself or you may as well give up now… if you say ‘Hey I got a film… if it gets picked up there’s also a book that goes with it. None of the waiting months for the ghostwriter to get it done.’ This also meant that while the film is in production (Yes, you must think big, you must think this far ahead) the book could be shopped around now with the ‘soon to be a major motion film’ tag and we know how much publishers love their film tie-ins.
Step One. The 35 Points.
I mentioned this in one of my comments, but this is essentially you breaking the book/story/idea down into 35 individual plot points of episodes of action. The obvious problem that occurred with my book is because it is a diary-esque book how to look at certain elements. The book also contains Top Tens, Reviews, it was a general mixbag. How much should go and how much should stay? I’m sure this is something that all adaptors come up against? How true do I stay to the original?
Step Two. Doing It
I set out first by breaking down the book and figuring out where the natural pauses came. I wrote each chapter (or Day, as they are in the book) on a piece of paper with a brief line of what happened and then spread this across the floor. By doing this I was able to easily eliminate and splice as many scenes as possible. Once I was down to eighty of the one hundred and sixty four days, I then proceeded to scale them down again to bring me to the magical thirty-five. This included more splicing and cutting of scenes and figures just which scenes progressed the story and which held it up.
Finally, I came to my thirty-five (or thirty-three in this case) scenes which reflected the story, did not lose any of the spirit of the book and gave me a framework in which I could work with.
Now, that’s the easy part over.
Next it’s the hard part… The writing. How will I do?
Well, we shall see…