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Books to Plays or Films


Age Category 11+ upwards


Imagine you are going to turn one of the following books into a play or film.


The Pasta Detectives, Andreas Steinhöfel

Chicken House, (2010)





Fruitloops & Dipsticks, Ulf Stark

Gecko Press, (2010)





The Midnight Palace, Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Orion, (2011)





Eep! Joke van Leeuwen

Gecko Press, (2010)





In the Sea there are Crocodiles

Fabio Geda, David Fickling, (2011)





1.   What would you call your play or film? 


2.   Can you come up with a catchy slogan to promote your play or film? 


3.   Try to create a script or screenplay either taking a section of the book or the whole story.


4.   Develop the plot and choose your cast of characters.




1.   Remember that it is important to find the title first. (Some of the books have good titles already such as The Pasta Detective or Fruitloops and Dipsticks but you will need a good slogan that helps explain what the film is about. 


2.   Before starting read other screenplays or scripts to understand about dialogue. 


3.   There needs to be a good plot with suspense and emotion. In The Midnight Palace is full of suspense while In the Sea there are Crocodiles might lend itself to more of a documentary style film. For films don't use too many words as it is about the pictures – think in pictures. 


4.   Get your story – write up lots of ideas, create an outline or roadmap - maybe create a storyboard.


5.   Choose your cast of characters – build them up in your mind. 


6.   Set the scene including details such as time of day, setting and actions of characters in the scenes. 


7.   Decide how the story is to unfold e.g. a narrator may introduce the characters.  A character may set up the characters through dialogue (conversation) or a monologue (thinking aloud).  For example, In The Pasta Detectives and Fruitloops and Dipsticks the main protagonist of the story is the narrator. In the Sea there are Crocodiles it is mainly the protagonist that is the narrator but this is interspersed with questions to him from the author and The Midnight Palace is a mixture of the author telling the story and some first person narration. 


8.   Make sure you tell the reader/actor in the script or screenplay what is happening that the narrator is not communicating. 


9.   Develop a rough draft. 


10. Be prepared to do revise and edit.


You will find details of all the books and some reviews on the Outside In World website. 


For a pdf version of this activity please click below.


Books to Plays or Films


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