When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written, “He dies.” That’s all; nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is, “He dies.” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with, “He dies.” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies.” but because of the life we saw prior to the words.
—Mr. Edward Magorium from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
books vs. movies
Supposedly, Americans watch 28 hours of TV per week. I find that slightly hard to believe, consider that I watch about six and think that is high and I should be watching less. Then again, I barely watched thirty minutes when I was a child.
Anyway, I don’t mind TV. One thing that’s really nice about TV is that I can do something while watching it. I like knitting but to sit on the couch and knit for forty-five minutes seems like a waste of time. However, sitting on the couch for forty-five minutes knitting and watching TV does not.
What I don’t like is when people decide to make books out of movies. Yes, there are some really good books to moves out there. Princess Bride is very good. (But what do you expect with the author, who had previous screen writing experience, writes the script?) Lord of the Rings is good. I’m sure if I thought harder, I could come up with other good ones. However, the fact is they aren’t all that common. (Well, neither are really good movies.)
Now, what I have seen happen is a really good movie is out there and I find out it’s a book as well. Never would have guessed and probably don’t even want to read it. It would ruin the movie. In all practicality, books and movies should never cross.
So why do I bring this up now? I was reading an article about “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is going out to movie (never heard of the book to be honest) and it reminded me of all the really bad books to movies out there.
Ever read Eragon? I, will admit, was being hard on the book due to the negative reviews I’ve heard but it was not that wonderful. Maybe a 2 on a 5 star scale. The movie was worse. It didn’t even resemble the book and they felt like they had to add tension by showing what was going on with the bad guy, only, it came up lame and like an evil maniac.
Unfortunately, I can’t think of any more really bad book to movies right now besides Sense and Sensibility, and I have to take my sister’s word on that one.
The fact is though that books-to-movies don’t really come out. This becomes hard because sometimes, as i write, I can almost imagine my story as a movie form. Natlie’s there, in the pouring raining, trying to rebuild the crossbows and the dragon lands behind her. The poor little creature looks so miserable. She cautiously steps towards it. It would just be so perfect!
Never will happen though. Why? Because I’ve seen too many good books ruined by bad movies. Moreover, movie makers want to ruin your book. I’m convinced of it.
I heard a book intro from Orson Scott Card about trying to get Ender’s GAme made into a movie. Besides the problem of there isn’t enough children actors that are good, movie companies want to make Ender about 16, instead of the 12 he is in his book. Card is determined to have Ender be 12, because otherwise the story doesn’t work well and they want to have him have a love interest. A love interest in that book will not work.
So, from my position on my living room couch as an unpublished, unknown writer, I don’t think I’ll never agree to get my book turned into a movie, no matter what they say to me.
What I do think would be awesome to do, however, is take some of those older books that were writing in the 1800s, and make them into a TV show, one season for one book. Books by people like Charlotte Mary Yonge, that took my mom almost a month or two to read to use aloud every school day. (You can download a copy of one of her books there. Highly recommended, especially if you like Jane Austin.) If they were done well, there just might be enough people watching it.
I write because pen and paper are cheaper than heroin and needles.