How to Adapt a Book into a Movie- foolproof advice for making the perfect adaption

Greetings friends! There has, of late, been a friendly little voice in my head which likes to screech like a pterodactyl, “YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN A BLOG POST IN 89 YEARS YOU PATHETIC PORCUPINE.” To which I answer “a) Hush, b) it has NOT been 89 years, c) don’t call me pathetic because it hurts my FEELINGS, and d) porcupines are awesome so how is that even an insult?”

More or less.

I dreamed a dream I would write more blog posts during the summer, but the reality is a) I am currently working at a new job so STRESS and also where has all my time gone, b) I’m doing Camp Nanowrimo so I HAVE TO REACH MY DAILY WORD COUNT *hyperventilates*, and c) I’m having a hard enough time finding time to read books and honestly reading books is so much more important than writing blog posts.

[What is with all these a), b), c) things??]

All that to say: I’m actually writing a blog post now!

Now. On to business.

*     *    *    *    *    *

Being the bookish minion that I am, I tend to be obsessed with all things bookish: Bookish tee shirts, bookish food, bookish conversation, bookish books.

Thus, whenever a bookish movie is announced (by which I mean a book-to-movie adaption just in case anyone was confused), the odds are, I am going to watch it.

One of my favorite books being translated to the medium of film? One of my least favorite books? A book I feel indifferent towards? What fun! I must watch it!

There is something fascinating about reading a book and then seeing the places and people and scenes you’ve read about on paper come to life on screen.

Because they are such fun, today I’ve created a handy-dandy guide for How to Adapt a Book into a Movie.


1. Mix Up the Plot a Little (Or a Lot)


The fact is, you can’t include EVERYTHING. Besides, you don’t want to just re-make the book, do you? The book is still there for the people who want THAT story. The movie has to be its own thing! So scrap a few plot points! Add a few of your own! Challenge yourself by seeing how unrecognizable you can make the plot!


2. Cut Dialogue/ Add Action


Let’s be honest. The only reason the author made the characters talk so much is because explosions aren’t as cool when you can’t see them. But on screen, wonder of wonders, you CAN see explosions! And aren’t they just the fabric that all great movies are made of?

Is there a scene in the book where someone crashes the car? Extensive research says that 99% of crashed cars explode spectacularly (and very cinematically).

Is there a scene in the book where someone cuts up an orange? Oranges are sort of like fire. (Haven’t you ever gotten orange juice squirted in your eye???) Oranges could explode!

Added action scenes don’t have to be limited to explosions. Also add car chases, foot chases, scooter chases, bicycle chases, camel chases, dragon chases, and any other chases you can think of. Everyone loves a good chase scene.


3. Cut or combine side characters

No one will notice. No one will care. Who even REMEMBERS the side characters anyway??


4. Emphasis on Romantic relationships


In a film adaption it is CRUCIAL to devote a large amount of screen time to the protagonists relationships. About 2% can be family and friends relationships. The rest should be focused on their romantic relationship(s).

“But wait!” you say. “The protagonist in this book isn’t IN a romantic relationship!”

Never fear! In this situation the solution is very simple: ADD a romantic relationship. The protagonist probably has a friend or two, yes? Just take your pick and add in a few kissing scenes and “I would die for you” lines.


5. Cast Kids 4 or 5 years older

Why make them 12 when you can make them 16??


The reality is, everyone prefers movies about teenagers. There are books about 12 year-olds, but books are weird.

Besides, 16 is the PERFECT age for finding the love of your life which, as we’ve discussed, is imperative to a movie adaption.


6. Make everyone gorgeous

The book says they’re awkward and unattractive…


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No. Everyone is actually movie-star gorgeous and has perfect hair. Even if they’re running for their lives through forests and bogs and deserts. Even if they have to cut their own hair with a rusty pair of scissors to disguise themselves, it has to turn out PERFECTLY.

Books don’t always talk about these little details because it would get boring, but every girl who ever ran for her life from bloodthirsty monsters or villains was sure to pack plenty of make-up and make a point of carefully applying it every morning.


7. Don’t read the Book

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You don’t really need to read the book in order to adapt it. If you know someone who read it, just ask them to tell you the gist of it and you can easily fill in the blanks for yourself. This not only saves you time, but also helps you to really make the movie adaption your own. You know you’ll have the ESSENCE of the book. But the rest? It doesn’t really matter!


And there you have it! Next time you have a few years of free time and a couple million dollars  to spare and decide to make a movie, just follow these simple steps for a flawless adaption that will please any book loving movie-goer!


Have you found this advice to be a foolproof formula for success? Do you have any other advice? Do you feel obligated to watch the film adaption of any book you read? What are some of your favorite/least favorite book-to-film adaptions? What books do you wish someone would adapt into a film? Do tell!






18 responses to “How to Adapt a Book into a Movie- foolproof advice for making the perfect adaption”

  1. This post is genius.😂I’m still over here crying because they didn’t put Weasley is Our King into The Order of Phoenix…
    I agree with you 100%! I mean, you want the perfect movie that will satisfy the thousands of fans of the book? You can achieve that instantly by not reading the book, creating a romance out of nowhere, and changing up the plot. *sarcastic smile*

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! Why didn’t they have that in the movie, hmm??
      Actually, I think another rule for adapting books-to-movies is to cut scenes involving singing. This seems to happen a lot.
      I’m glad you agree with my perfectly FLAWLESS advice. It really is that simple to satisfy the book lovers and every other audience member. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 😂😂You’re hilarious. ALSO….I totally agree that I get way more excited about adaptations when it’s a book I hate or just don’t really care about ah hahah. Like every time there’s updated news on a Raven Cycle movie I DIE. I JUST DON’T WANNA THEY WILL WRECK IT. 😭And also I’m less worried about contemporaries for some reason? Like Love Simon was adorable (I still adore the book though!) and I’m excited for THUG and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. just not my ultimate faaaaves. *tries to hide them from movie making people*

    Also the way the age everyone up is hilarious and terrible. WHY THO. I mean Four in Divergent was like IN HIS 30S. FREAKING 30S. He was supposed to be 18!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Movie adaptions of favorite books are SO TERRIFYING. A terrible adaption of a book I don’t care about is easier to laugh at and then move on with your life.
      I’ve never really thought about it, but now that you mention it, contemporary movie adaptions do seem less worrisome. WHY IS THIS, HM?
      My perception of age is so messed up because of movies. All the movies about high-schoolers who are actually in their 30s? I thought that’s what high-schoolers looked like?? MY LIFE IS A LIE.


  3. Bahaha I adore this.

    I especially feel the “Don’t Read the Book” part. I’m finishing up Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (which is so dark and so fun!) and I was so excited to see the movie until someone told me that the movie was basically like someone had read the books ten years ago (or just read the synopses) and made a movie based on what they remembered from that. And that kind of broke my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so weird how much that seems to happen! I start to think, “Well, maybe I’m exaggerating…” but there really are so many movies where it doesn’t even feel like they read the book. How does this happen??


  4. Hahaha, this post! I definitely do not feel obligated to watch the film adaptation for books. Ooh okay, I’m excited to answer these questions. Favorite: I think To Kill a Mockingbird was adapted quite well. Atticus and Scout look exactly like how I felt they looked. I also thought Divergent and Catching Fire were pretty good adaptations even though I wasn’t that into the book of the movie. Least favorite: PERCY JACKSON. Dude, the director followed your rules number one and seven perfectly. I can’t believe I’m blanking on the terrible guy’s name right now (all that’s coming is Thanos which is not even the same universe), but he DIES IN THE SECOND MOVIE. The Percy Jackson books could have been amazing movies. So that’s my answer to the last question. I want someone to do over those books again, and to do it well. Also, good luck on Camp Nanowrimo and those word count goals and your new job. :))


    • I haven’t seen To Kill a Mockingbird yet, but I need to! Oh, the Percy Jackson movies… What can I say? After watching The Sea of Monsters my sister and I were thinking through all the scenes, and we couldn’t think of a SINGLE SCENE in the movie that was from the book. ….What happened??? And they could have been such fun movies!! *Sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This cracked me up SO MUCH. The Percy Jackson series was poorly adapted (it makes me sob because it had so. MUCH. POTENTIAL). Gotta love it when screenwriters don’t read the books because you know, they obviously didn’t read The Hunger Games properly. It’s about fighting for FOOD, for goodness sakes! None of this child fighting nonsense gosh why all of this edginess. xD

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    Liked by 1 person

    • The PERCY JACKSON MOVIES. Oh dear me. I always thought they were the kind of books that could translate really well into movies, but…. apparently not?
      Why is it that movies will fit in violence and fighting at every opportunity, and cut most every mention of food? Food is awesome. And vital. So why not feature it in movies more, hmm?
      Thanks for commenting!


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