Monday, April 16, 2007

Adapt or die

In The Independent, Dunta Kean explains why having their book adapted for the screen can be such a painful experience for novelists.
Authors-turned-screenwriters are in for a shock. It can seem like everyone including the tea boy has more input into the adaptation. Harder still, for the author precious about their work, is the slash and burn aspect of adaptation. Screenplays are a third of the size of novels, and adapting books means wielding the axe: out go timescales, characters and sub-plots. What films want is not the novel, but according to Deborah Moggach, "the short story in the book".
The full-length version of the article is in the new issue of Mslexia.

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