From Script to Novel: An Exploration of Reverse Adaptation

Author: Annabelle Murphy

Murphy, Annabelle, 2016 From Script to Novel: An Exploration of Reverse Adaptation, Flinders University, School of Humanities and Creative Arts

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


This thesis asks the question of whether traditional book to screen adaptation can be successfully reversed. Is it possible to produce a stand-alone literary novel of high quality whose progenitor artefact is a feature film script – the reverse of traditional book to film adaptation? This practice-led research interrogates the process of the reverse adaptation of my own unproduced feature film script, Reasons to be Cheerful, into the novel, The Art of Detachment. In doing so it provokes questions regarding creative and professional differences experienced by the writer when writing for the screen and the novel. This thesis also presents synthesised primary interviews with two screenwriters who have undertaken their own script to novel adaptations; one of which resulted in an international best-seller. It also defines and contextualises reverse adaptation in relationship to its closest literary cousin, the commercial novelization, and within our transmedia environment. The research presented in this thesis represents a humble first attempt at establishing a body of knowledge on the reverse adaptation, which, the author believes, will become more frequent into the future.

Keywords: reverse adaptation, film adaptation, script to novel adaptation, film to novel adaptation, The Art of Detachment, transmedia adaptation, novelization, screenwriting,

Subject: Creative Arts thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2016
School: School of Humanities and Creative Arts
Supervisor: Jeri Kroll