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Every picture tells a story

The novel, the stage play and screenplay allow the writer sharply differing levels of artistic control over the work. David Lodge, who has had experience of all three, describes some of the pleasures and frustrations of adapting a play and a novel for television

By David Lodge   13

The dominant forms of fictional narrative in our culture are the novel, the stage play and the motion picture (including television drama). I have had some experience of all three. I have been writing prose fiction for more than 30 years and think of myself primarily as a novelist. But some years ago I wrote a stage play, The Writing Game, which has had three professional productions; and over the same period I have adapted my novel, Nice Work, Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit and The Writing Game, for television. Drawing upon that experience I want to explore what makes a…

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