Once you understand the basics of screenwriting, ideas for your next screenplay are everywhere. Whether it comes from a favorite children’s book, a summer novel you discover accidentally, a news story that catches your imagination, or a chapter from your own life — advanced screenwriting strategies should now guide you through your first adaptation. In Screen Adaptation: Beyond the Basics, award-winning screenwriter Eric Williams uses examples from award-winning screenplays to explain new storytelling techniques. His real-world examples illustrate a range of advanced approaches — including new ways to identify and craft tension, how to reimagine structure and character, and how to strengthen emotional depth in your characters and in the audience. Screen Adaptation: Beyond the Basics teaches readers new ways to engage with source material in order to make successful adaptation decisions, regardless of the source material.

The book offers:

    • Three detailed examples of award-winning adaptations by the author, including the complete short story and final scripts used in the Voices From the Heartland project;
    • Breakout boxes highlighting modern and historical adaptations and providing examples for each concept discussed in the book;
    • More than fifty charts providing easy-to-use visual representations of complex concepts;
    • New screenwriting techniques developed by the author, including the Triangle of Knowledge, the Storyteller’s Parallax, and the idea of Super Genres as part of a Screenwriters Taxonomy.

section One|100 pages

Basic Practices

chapter 1|33 pages

Beyond the Rules Adaptation

chapter 2|31 pages

Fundamentals of Adaptation

chapter 3|34 pages

Adapting Jim Day’s “Karelia”

section Two|96 pages

Intermediate Practices

chapter 4|31 pages

Recognizing your Genre

chapter 5|13 pages

Strengthening your Emotional Center

chapter 7|36 pages

Adapting Jo Weiss’ “The Pool”

section Three|104 pages

Advanced Practices

chapter 8|15 pages

Thematic Approaches

chapter 9|13 pages

Reshaping Structure

chapter 10|20 pages

Crafting and Honing Tension

chapter 11|18 pages

The Triangle of Knowledge