Writers Who Adapted Their Own Screenplays

Posted by Sandra Woolf

Many writers dream of one day seeing their work on the big screen. But as a writer, who can you trust to adapt your life’s work? Sometimes the best person for the job is yourself! And that’s exactly what the writers on this list did—they adapted their own screenplays.


Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

Writing three hit novels wasn’t enough for Flynn. She would go on to personally adapt two of them: Gone Girl for the big screen and Sharp Objects for television. Flynn’s dedication to her work paid off—in 2014, she was nominated nineteen times for screenwriting and won eleven awards! Not too shabby for a journalist-turned-author-turned-screenwriter!



Pet Sematary (1989)

Stephen King

With dozens of published books under his belt, many of which have been adapted over the last twenty years, it is no surprise that King has dabbled in screenwriting. A few standout adaptions are Pet Sematary (1989), Creepshow, and Silver Bullet. The Master of Horror shows no sigh of slowing down either, he publishes about two books a year, and has several more adaptions in the works for the coming year.



About a Boy

Nick Hornby

Of all the authors on this list, Nick Hornby receives a gold star for not only adapting his own literary works, but also faithfully adapting other writers' work. He wrote the screenplay for Fever Pitch, his autobiography and saw two of his bestselling novels, About A Boy and High Fidelity get the big screen treatment. He also adapted Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild and Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. We expect more screenplays in the future from this quirky British writer.


Postcards from the Edge

Carrie Fisher

Famous for her career as an actress, many people would be surprised to learn that Carrie Fisher was also a prominent writer and script doctor. A script doctor is someone who is hired to polish an existing script. Fisher, in this case, would add jokes and dialogue for characters. You can see her script writing in films such as Sister Act and The Wedding Singer. She even wrote the screenplay adaptation for her own novel, Postcards from the Edge. Fisher was truly a talented writer, comedian, and rebel leader.

Sandra Woolf

Sandra Woolf

Sandra Woolf lives in the PNW where she haunts bookshops and library sales. Freelancer by day, horror movie lover by night. Writing inquires can go to what lovely books at gmail or just to ask her how her hairy is so bouncy.