Okay, you've finished your book, novel or true story, and you'd like to have it made into a movie.
Perhaps you've read some books on screenwriting or taken some classes and you're thinking about writing the screenplay based on the book.
If so, there is something you must keep in mind. You will have to remove much of the content of your book that took you months, perhaps years to write. You may balk at the concept but you must do it.
A book can average 200 - 500 pages and contain 60,000 - 200,000 words. An average screenplay runs 90 - 120 pages, much of it white space, and has about 20,000 - 25,000 words. That's quite a vast difference.
How do you manage to get all of your story into a screenplay? In most cases, you don't. It's a sad but true fact.
That said, what do you cut out?
One step is to keep most of the major scenes and cut those smaller, less important ones. Go through your book and look at it with an eye to what is critical and what is less important.
Do the same thing with dialogue. Keep only what moves the story forward.
Eliminate some or all of the subplots.
You can eliminate some of the characters or combine several of them into one person and let that person serve in the role of what those varying characters did in your book.
And while you're at it, get rid of any lengthy character descriptions. In a screenplay they are not only unnecessary, they are counterproductive. In screenplays, character descriptions should be purposely vague to give more casting options.
Don't describe someone's height, unless it is critical to the story, hair color, eye color, flesh tones, etc. The more specific the description is in a screenplay, the harder it will be to find a leading acting to fit the role.
And finally, don't mention the race of the character, unless it is an essential part of the story. For example, a police detective can be of any race, unless the detective's race is an essential part of the story. For true stories, of course, casting directors need to know the race of each person to make it closer to reality.
If you do these things, the more successful you will be when you decide to turn a book into a move.
Danek S. Kaus is a produced screenwriter of an award-winning feature film. He was recently hired by a movie production company to adapt a book into a movie for them. Two of his other screenplays have been optioned by producers. He can help youturn your book into a move He also offers a professional analysis of your screenplay.