Monday, June 19, 2017

Books versus Movies

Neil Gaimen’s American Gods season one aired last night, Sunday June 18. It was everything I expected from the creative genius. Trippy. Questioned boundaries and stereotypes. Beautiful. But did it add up to the same experience as the book?

I realize that is a series, not a movie. Hear me out. There are dozens of examples. Hollywood seems hard press to find an original idea. I can’t turn my head without seeing a book turning into a movie. Is this a bad thing?

First there are the children’s books. Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events had a movie made back in 2004 starring Jim Carrey. Now on Netflix it is an actual series with Neil Patrick Harris. Both widely popular in there own right. The books have been adorn by all ages since they were published in September 1999.

Then there is Captain Underpants by Dav Pikey. This movie stars the voice talents of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, and Nick Kroll. It got 85% at Rotten Tomato. I know my second eldest and youngest absolutely loved reading the books when they were younger.

Going up to the more adult ages we can move up to comics, graphic novels, novellas, speculative fiction and literary novels.

Two words: Superheroes Rule!

From Deadpool to Wonder Woman to Hellboy – I love superheroes. I cannot get enough of them. My love is feeding the frenzy and I don’t mind that one bit. I’m a nerd. Correction: I am a PROUD nerd. My kids are proud nerds, too, in one form or another.

This leads us to graphic novels. Wolverine: Origin Book 1, I own this graphic novel (shocker) was beautiful. They did one thing right. Logan has bone claws. Tada! The rest you need to read. That is a major downside to books versus movies –the changes. In Deadpool Negasonic Teenage Warhead made things go boom. That is not the case in the few comic panels she was in. She actually told the future and died very, very quickly.

As for novellas, lets examine Will Smith in I Am Legend by Richard Matheson or Isaac Asimov’s I,Robot (correction this is a collection of short stories). Neither is what was portrayed on film. They are action packed films. Both question humanity. I thoroughly enjoy the director’s cut of I Am Legend. I, Robot is written from the robot’s perspective. It is inventive. No pun intended.

Aside from comic books lets list the books made into a movie or show in the last couple years
  • The Shack
  • Hidden Figures
  • Live By Night
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Fifty Shade Darker
  • Before I Fall
  • The Sense of Ending
  • The Zookeeper's Wife
  • Berlin Station
  • Everything, Everything
  • Shadow Hunters
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Riverdale
  • The Leftovers
  • Outlander
  • The White Queen
  • The White Princess
  • The Handmaiden's Tale
  • My Cousin Rachel
  • Spectrum
  • The Dark Tower
  • The Mist
  • It
  • Thank You For Your Service
  • Big Little Lies
  • Sharp Objects
The list goes on and on. No wonder readers aren't reading that much any more. Their mentality is, "Hey, if it is any good they make a movie or show out of it." Why should they spend hours reading when they can lounge on the couch and have the story beamed into their brain?
Now more than ever is the time to make your story stand out from the rest of the pack. Yes, stand by your fellow author. Hold one another up. The main take-away....

Make every word count because people's attention span is fle -SQUIRREL! 

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