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Make Your Story a Movie by John Robert Marlow

Pub Date: | Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor

Make Your Story a Movie by John Robert Marlow Make Your Story a Movie:
Adapting Your Book or Idea for Hollywood
John Robert Marlow

St. Martin’s Griffin
12/11/12
Hardcover/308 pages
ISBN: 978-1250001832
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". . . any potential writer. . . has to read this book."

The very first point that will be ingrained on a reader’s mind when delving into this excellent look into the world of writers and Hollywood, appears immediately. Life is divided into ‘before-and-after’ episodes.

You see, every true writer has that seed growing bigger and bigger with each passing day. Especially now, with the world of self-publishing and eBooks expanding at the speed of lightning. More and more often the ‘traditional publishers’ are not even looking at a new author’s idea until the author has proven themselves in the realm of social media; and agents are simply not interested in someone they’ve never heard of. Of course, there are the ‘miracles’ (Twilight, anyone?), where an agent just ‘happens’ to pick up the book and help the author turn it into an international bestseller that garners four movies and a whole lot of cash. But in the real world, there are many things authors have to understand about deals – as well as what money to take, what to turn down, and when.

Putting all this aside, which is incredibly difficult to do, there are a slew of things that an author must understand before attempting to turn their novel into a Hollywood script. What does Hollywood want? You have to know, because your novel may just not be the one they’re looking for at any given time. Sometimes they want those small nuggets of gold that will be seen at Sundance; while other times they crave that next YA that will have teens lining up in order to route for the victorious girl with her bow and arrow. In the end, what they need the most is a visually and emotionally compelling story that WILL get moviegoers into those seats.

The lessons of what can and can not be adapted are all in this ‘writer’s bible.’ And there are no ‘soft touches’ here. There are, quite literally, ideas that Hollywood will never buy. What’s the difference between adaptation and selling actual film rights? Will the movie moguls see that your story would come in at a reasonable budget? Does it have a hero/heroine that’s relatable? What’s the average length? Writing, evaluating and finding the structure of your novel so that it will be a great screenplay, is also addressed. And then…the dreaded submission process is brought to light and how and what goes into making a deal.

It’s all here. And, frankly, any potential writer, self-published author, ‘bestseller’ – everyone who wishes to make it in the industry has to read this book. The information is crucial and is completely understandable, offering writer’s the knowledge they need in order to do it right and have, hopefully, no regrets!

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor