Big money for short stories
Dozens of movies have been made from short fiction, earning their authors nice rewards. Sometimes a brief story has inspired more--even many more--than one movie. Examples:
Story and Author Movie(s)
“The Bicentennial Man” Isaac Asimov Bicentennial Man (1999)
“The Sentinel” Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
“The Birds” Daphne duMaurier Same name (1963 Hitchcock)
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Truman Capote Same name (1961)
“Octopussy” Ian Fleming Same name (1983)
“It’s a Wonderful Life” Philip Van Doren Three movies (1946-1990)
“The Fly” George Langelaan Five (1958-1989)
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Irving Nine (1922-2004)
“A Christmas Carol” Charles Dickens At least twelve (1912-2008)
“The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe Fourteen (1928-2008)
“The Invisible Man” H.G. Wells Eighteen (1933-2013)
“Zorro” Johnathon McCulley Twenty-two (1920-2005)
“The Turn of the Screw” Henry James Twenty-three (1957-2013)
Several of Stephen King’s short stories have become movies including The Mist (2007), The Langoliers (1992), Maximum Overdrive (1997), Children of the Corn (Several 1984-2009), and The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
Why is this so? I think it’s because good short stories have lasting reader impact. In many ways they demand the finest writing--succinct character development, vivid scene-setting, astute word choice, and tight plotting. I can still remember some I enjoyed as far back as college, like “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, and Hemingway’s “The Killers.” I also loved the series featuring Tugboat Annie in The Saturday Evening Post, which also made the movies.
If you’re a writer or aspire to be, short stories can be fertile ground for your efforts. And creating a good one could reap a lucrative harvest.
(Give my story collection, Dagger and other tales, a try. It’s on Amazon, and includes yarns gleaned from a lifetime of writing, even one begun by Stephen King.)