John Robert Marlow: 10 Things Hollywood Wants in Books

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Make Your Book a Movie

Pitchable Concept – If you hook them with the concept, then—and only then—will they read your story.

Relatable Hero – If audiences don’t care about the characters, they don’t care about the story.

Emotionally Compelling Story – Your story should be relatable and emotionally compelling.

Ticking Clock – Stories without ticking clocks tend to ramble.

Visual Potential – Movies can’t delve inside the hero’s head without somehow externalizing the character’s inner experience in a way that makes it seem external (and therefore lensable).

Structure – Anyone hoping to sell to Hollywood needs to understand the structure beneath the beauty.

Actor-Friendly Lead – You must craft a story with one or more strong roles that A-list actors will find appealing.

Average Length – If you’re selling a screenplay, the people footing that bill do not want to hear that your story is running long.

Reasonable Budget – The more your story costs to film, the fewer the people who can afford to make it.

Low-Fat Story – Because of time and budget constraints, there’s little room for anything not absolutely essential.

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



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