I am late to the Da Vinci Code mania.

I only read paperbacks! And since the Dan Brown blockbuster wasn’t available in soft cover until a few weeks ago, my only experience of it was watching Brown’s book rise and stay at the top of the bestseller’s charts — and trying to understand the excitement that went with it.

But having read it finally, and with the wave of publicity about Tom Hanks’ hair in the upcoming movie release, I must wonder how the translation will be.

Note to screenwriters thinking of writing novels: Research The Da Vinci Code. It’s is a prose screenplay. It’s visual. Has great movie moments. And is structured according to the BS2! While many of the whammies in the novel are fresh and thrilling, a bunch are standard movie turns — in the actual screenplay I hope they fixed these. But like many of John Grisham’s books, also structured and launched as the “pre-movie” material, Brown’s is a brilliantly conceived story for the movie world we live in.

The one advantage of the movie will be the ability to see the paintings, landmarks, and visual clues needed to fully apppreciate the story. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing it come to life onscreen — and understanding the “evidence” a little more.

This is good for us to understand. Plot in novel-writing is not plot in screenwriting. And for those who would like to see how the latest book-into-movie story unfolds: read the book and see the movie. Then let’s talk about how novel turns and movie turns compare and contrast.

Jessica Brody will consult on your novel and analyze your beat sheet according to the Save the Cat!® principles. Learn More>>