Deborah Moggach gave a class on adapting books into films at Llandrindod Wells Library, Wales.

Recommended reading and viewing

The Diary of Anne Frank

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Short Cuts – the Raymond Carver short stories, and the DVD of the movie (Robert Altman screenwriter)

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen, and the DVD of the movie (Emma Thompson screenwriter)

The Go-Between – LP Hartley, and the DVD of the movie (Harold Pinter screenwriter)

Plus the screenplays of those movies, you can download them for free on the internet.

Top tips

  • Think of a novel as a noun and a screenplay as a verb. See it as action, moving always forwards.
  • Think pictures – visualise those scenes. Films are what you see rather than what you hear.
  • Grow a thick skin; you’ll get masses of criticism and everything will get changed. Don’t take it personally.
  • Never let a character say “Do you remember…?” The audience will switch off in droves. Remembering is for novels.
  • Download screenplays and read them, to get used to the format. Especially useful if you’ve already seen the film.





Related RSL Fellows

Deborah Moggach 1999