Last semester, I wrote an adaptation of my first novel as a screenplay for an interdisciplinary studies project at Lesley. The novel needed revision, and I figured re-imagining it as a screenplay would help in that process. It was an interesting exercise, and it gave me some practical understanding of the difference between narration in literature and in film. There is a fundamental problem in adapting a novel for the screen – the written word can quite effectively convey the mental activity of a character, his or her thoughts, memories, desires, emotions etc., while film can only imply this inner life. To quote the cinema studies pioneer, George Bluestone, â€œThe film by arranging external signs for our visual perception, or by presenting us with dialogue, can lead us to infer thoughtâ€¦but it cannot show us thoughts and feelings.â€ (Novels into Film).
After the completion of the project, my advisor suggested I enter the script in a contest. It turns out there are a lot of these. Every little film festival usually has an associated screenplay competition. Iâ€™ve entered a few now, and Iâ€™ll continue until I get disgusted with the process as I usually do with novel and short fiction contests. Hereâ€™s a link to a site that lists over 300 film festivals. It also has information on how to structure and format your script.