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Screen Adaptation, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Screen Adaptation : A Scriptwriting Handbook, 2nd ed. examines the challenge screenwriters face when adapting novels, plays, and short stories for the screen. Thoroughly updated to include new exercises and example from current films, this book provides practical, usable information on how to find the best plot line for a script, choose key characters, and understand the goals and formats of different genres.



Topics include:
determining which characters and events are most valuable on developing the main story;
expanding short novellas and condensing long novels;
using dialog to advance the story and reveal character;
comparing the formats of plays, short stories, and novels to those of screenplays
approaching the marketplace

In this book, both beginning writers and professionals will find the tools necessary to evaluate a prospective source and create a successful screenplay

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. 1. Introduction
    1. Structure
    2. Characterization
    3. Similarities with Source Materials
      1. Approaches
      2. Potential Problems
        1. Short Stories
        2. Novels
    4. Scope of the Chapters
    5. Use of Exercises
    6. Mass Audience
    7. The Question of Rights
    8. Summary
  8. 2. Principles of Dramatic Writing
    1. Commercial Possibilities and Ideas
    2. Sources for Ideas
    3. Structure
    4. Sympathetic Characters
      1. Backstory
      2. Character Growth
      3. Rounded Characters
    5. Summary
    6. Terms to Know
    7. Exercises
  9. 3. Characterization
    1. The Sympathetic Protagonist
      1. Identification
      2. Rooting for the Protagonist
      3. Changes in Situation
      4. Changing Other Characters
      5. Changing the Dialogue
    2. Backstory
      1. Starting Point
    3. Character Descriptions
    4. Character Action
      1. Contrasting Characters
    5. Summary
    6. Exercises
  10. 4. Structure
    1. Starting Point
      1. Finding the Starting Point
    2. Elimination of Scenes
      1. Maintaining the Pace
    3. Condensing Scenes
    4. Combining Characters
    5. Further Elimination and Addition of Scenes
    6. Beginnings and Endings
    7. Summary
    8. Exercises
  11. 5. Kramer versus Kramer
    1. Starting Point
    2. Change in Characterization
    3. Rounding Out the Character
    4. Elimination of Characters
    5. Social Issue
    6. Structure
    7. Subplot
    8. Elimination of Extraneous Scenes
    9. Adding Scenes
    10. Summary
    11. Exercises
  12. 6. Social Issue
    1. Changing the Focus
      1. Kramer versus Kramer
      2. The Paper Chase
      3. The Bridges of Madison County
      4. Harold and Maude
      5. Roe versus Wade
    2. Summary
    3. Exercises
  13. 7. Action Adventure and Science Fiction: Jurassic Park and Apollo 13
    1. Jurassic Park
      1. Starting Point
      2. Structure
      3. Introduction of the Protagonist
      4. Condensing Scenes
      5. Change in Characters
      6. Change in Ending
    2. Apollo 13
      1. Starting Point
      2. Elimination of Scenes and Backstory
      3. Adding Scenes
      4. Climax and Resolution
    3. Summary
    4. Exercises
  14. 8. The Short Story
    1. Adapting from the Classics
      1. “The Altar of the Dead”
      2. “The Blue Hotel”
      3. “Rear Window”
      4. The Wild One
    2. Adapting from the Novel
    3. Adapting from the Short Story
      1. Holiday Song
      2. 2001
      3. “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”
    4. Summary
    5. Exercises
  15. 9. Plays
    1. Stage versus Film
      1. Adapting Shakespeare
      2. Adapting Other Plays
        1. “Marvin’s Room”
        2. “A Streetcar Named Desire”
        3. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
        4. “Front Page”
      3. “Biloxi Blues”
        1. Structure
        2. Dialogue
        3. Character Action
        4. Condensing Dialogue
      4. “Biloxi Blues,” Act Two
        1. Backstory
        2. Endings
    2. Opening Up
    3. Form
    4. Characterization
    5. Symbolism
    6. Summary
    7. Exercises
  16. 10. Dialogue, Starting to Write, and Marketing
    1. Dialogue
      1. Characteristics of Good Dialogue
      2. Connecting Dialogue
      3. Jargon
      4. Keep It Short
    2. Getting Started
      1. Writing the Screenplay
      2. Opinions and Changes
      3. Format, Research, and Scriptwriting Software
    3. Selling Your Screenplay
      1. Agents
      2. Patience and Success
    4. Summary
  17. 11. Love Stories: The Bridges of Madison County and Leaving Las Vegas
    1. The Bridges of Madison County
      1. Starting Point
      2. Change in Characterization and the Development of Conflict
      3. Change in Scenes
    2. Leaving Las Vegas
      1. Starting Point
      2. Elimination of Backstory
      3. Elimination of Characters
      4. Omission of Scenes
    3. Summary
    4. Exercises
  18. Appendix
  19. Bibliography
  20. Index