View Full Version : From Novel to Play?

09-23-2007, 09:20 PM
Our local theatre company is having a "New Voices" series, which is essentially a series of play readings by local authors. Since my novel, Reflections in the Snow is based in Breckenridge, the same town as the theatre company, I thought that I would give this a try.

As it turns out, it is easier said than done. Additionally, the novel is a bit complex, perhaps a bit too complex for the stage. Likewise, some of the "on slope" scenes obviously need to be eliminated. I also find myself obssesing over blocking and stage directions, which tend to interrupt my "creative flow."

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Doug B
09-24-2007, 07:21 PM
Don't try to make a literal adaptation. Tell the same story with different words, different characters and a different setting. It sounds like you have some theater experience so let that unconsciously guide you.

I'd write down the Inciting Incident, Point of Attack, Obstacles, Climax and Resolution of your story then write it from scratch as a play.

I'm paraphrasing someone here but books are about thoughts and plays are about words.

There are some lengthy threads here about stage directions - put them in or take them out - if you are obsessing about them, I'd write the play with no directions of any kind then go back and put in those that are absolutely necessary. If you are like me you are seeing the play unfold as you write it. Watch it unfold but don't write what you see, write what you hear.

If you are brave enough, write a scene and share it with us in the Share Your Work section.

Go for it.


09-24-2007, 09:16 PM
Thanks Doug! As an absolute newbie at playwriting, and fiction, for that matter, I'll need to summon up the courage to post in SYW. The upside is that actors who have read what I have written so far seem to really like it.