College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


adaptation studies, screenplay adaptations, speculative fiction, self-adaptations, film adaptations, script writing, screenplays


Creative Writing | Film and Media Studies


Adaptation studies typically focus on a screenplay’s fidelity to its original text within the constraints imposed by the new genre. This thesis approaches adaptation as a craft tool: a rich source of fresh authorial insight into characters, settings, and plotlines. Experimentation, not fidelity, is the goal of the self-adapter; adaptations are valued and deemed successful based on the new levels of complexity they uncover or add to an ongoing story. The author’s screenplay adaptation of her original novel, The Eye of the King, served as a case study for testing the value of adaptation as a writer’s craft tool. Re-telling the story to fit a shorter form, replace description with dialogue and action, and set in a contemporary time period more cost-effective to produce resulted in stronger characterizations, more purposeful shaping of plot events and speech, and increased authorial clarity and control in the communication of theme.