Virgil Williams On Writing

This is a great interview, and by luck it adds onto our post from last week about outlining, “Writing A Proper Outline.” I realize I never discussed outlining for adaptations, and this interview covers that wonderfully. It’s definitely worth a read. Say “hello” to Virgil Williams, writer of “Mudbound,” which was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards. This is the final interview for the Academy Awards, so I hope you enjoy it.

Besides “Mudbound,” Virgil is most well known for having written “Criminal Minds,” “The Chicago Code,” and “ER.”

Here’s a few questions from the interview:

I want to begin by asking about your experience reading Hillary Jordan’s novel for the first time. At what point did you start thinking about adapting the book?”

I recently saw you at the WGA’s Beyond Words panel, and you were talking about the importance of outlining to you, particularly as a TV writer. I was wondering, with this script in particular — since we’re juggling multiple voiceovers, multiple very complex emotional arcs — what’s your organization like on the page? How do you begin to approach that?”

Why was it important to you to change the ending from the novel, and at what point did you decide to do that?

Here’s the full interview: The Black List – Virgil Williams on MUDBOUND