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The biggest different between a novel and a movie is that in a novel, things are described to the reader. The reader can get inside the character's head, be told what the characters are feeling, what the characters and thinking... This doesn't happen in a movie. A movie can only show, not tell. A screenplay has to be entirely visual (and auditory.) This is ...


I've tried to do this myself, so I'll pass along what I've learned. First, note that the audience hears a play about one-third as fast (150-200 words per minute) as they read a novel (500-600 words a minute). Because of that, a screenplay requires "crisper" writing, with fewer excess words than a novel. A novel might describe a hero's actions as follows: ...


Typically, you would change all the names and present it as fiction (perhaps as "inspired by a true story"). This is called a roman à clef and it's a widely used technique to allow poetic license with the truth while avoiding legal trouble. Even with this approach, however, people have still been sued, so you might want to use caution.

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