Monday, November 9, 2015

Book to Movie, Spooktoberfest Runner Up & ShaNo Update

The ShaNo update will be brief, as I haven't accomplished anything from that list. This is not unexpected for me, as none of the things on my list this month are meant to be finished in one week. I should have an update for next week, and I did get some things accomplished this week by re-submitting three short stories that had been rejected, but that was not a goal on the list.

Before I get to the rest of the post, I just found out I was a runner up in the Spooktoberfest flash fiction contest! Woo-hoo! I do love some Halloween themed flash fiction. Congratulations to the winners and my fellow runners up.

Now...

Raise your hand if you enjoy when your favorite books are made into movies.

Raise your hand if you [not so] secretly wish your own novels will be made into movies some day.

I don't know about you, but I always have this sense of quiet dread when it's announced that a book I love is going to be made into a movie. When I read the book, it came alive in my head. I visualized the characters and settings. Now I'll be seeing someone else's vision of the story, and I may love it or hate it (or feel meh about it).

On the other hand, I've enjoyed quite a few of the movies made from books I enjoyed. Sometimes those visions are better than, or at least equal to, what I saw in my head. For those with different worlds and major settings, I often enjoy seeing them made into movies (Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Harry Potter) so I can see that vision realized.

Plus, I've had a great time reading novels together with my kids and then seeing the movies with them. It's a wonderful experience, and one we'll keep doing as long as they're young enough to want to. And when they're older, perhaps we'll all just read the book separately, then share the movie still.

This is on my mind, because there is word YET AGAIN that Stephen King's The Dark Tower is officially coming to the screen. While I'm not going to hold my breath (they've been saying this for years), there's no way I'd be able to resist seeing it, despite the fact that I got that same nervous feeling in my stomach. Who will play Roland? In my head, Roland was always similar to Clint Eastwood (at the time I was reading it). A middle aged man, grizzled, but with dark hair. But Eastwood is too old (and his son too young). Ideas others have thrown out for who could play him have not excited me.

Looking at this from the author side, I know that I have incredibly specific pictures of my characters in my head. While it would be exciting to see my book on the screen, what would happen if I hated the actors they'd chosen? What if they destroyed my story?

I guess it really boils down to the fact that, whether you're a viewer or an author, the movie is a separate entity, and often a separate story, from the book (or short story, as that is always a possibility, too.)

How do you feel about books being made into movies? Do you have any favorites? Any situations where the movie was better than the book? What's your least favorite book to movie? How would you feel if someone wanted to make your book or short story into a movie? How is NaNo (or your own personal goal setting) going?

May you find your Muse.

36 comments:

  1. Congratulations on being a runner-up!
    It's always a crap shoot with books to movies. They are lucky if they are at least close to being as good. Only a few are better. (Like the LOTR trilogy.) Terry Brooks' second Shannara book is being made into a series and I don't have high hopes.
    And yes, I'd want to see my books made into movies but only if the SyFy Channel has nothing to do with them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't want them to add 3 headed sharks to your story?

      Delete
  2. Congratulations! Yes, I'm nervous about books being turned into movies/TV shows too. I love the Dark Tower series, and I really hope they do it justice. I'd love for my own stories to be TV shows on HBO or AMC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the Dark Tower series, as well, so I want to see it, yet I'm worried. HBO definitely does justice to the books they turn into shows. I'm not sure I've watched one on AMC unless Walking Dead is on that channel?

      Delete
  3. Congrats on runner up! That's awesome! And I guess it just depends on how the movie handled and who's making it. I've actually seen a few movies (like Drive) that were way better than the book. Then again, I know that's not the norm. I would just hope that one day if one of our comedy novels becomes a movie that it's picked up by someone well respected in the comedy world and not, say, Adam Sandler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't read the book for Drive. And anyone but Adam Sandler, really.

      Delete
  4. Yeh on being a runner-up!

    I hear you on the "quiet dread." I read ROOM way back and loved it. I was torn about seeing the movie, but enough time has passed for me to see it as a separate entity. Plus, the previews look amazing and the author was hands on, too, and that always makes a difference to me. (Haven't seen it yet but hope to soon!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do feel reassured when the author is part of it. Knowing they're there to see their vision through helps.

      Delete
  5. I like when books are turned into movies, but I'm often disappointed. One of my favorites is No Country for Old Men--I thought they captured the book nicely. I was somewhat disappointed in the movie version of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, but I should probably watch it again as it wasn't terrible.

    What I need to do is stop visualizing my stories in my head as movies and write them instead. Then I can think about them being made into films.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read those books by McCarthy, but I did see the movies. No Country for Old Men was good. I agree about The Road being okay. Yes, get to writing!

      Delete
  6. Weirdly, I was thinking about this last night when the movie, Reacher, was playing on TV. I love those books and there is no way Tom Cruise fits that character. It was such terrible casting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more. Tom Cruise was nowhere near how I envisioned Reacher (or how he was written), yet the author was happy with the selection. I wonder if the author was just a Cruise fan and was excited by that.

      Delete
  7. My significant other and I have been waiting for The Dark Tower adaptation. We hang on every news release.

    And I do enjoy my favorite books being made into movies...but I worry that the adaptation won't do the book justice.

    Congrats on being a runner-up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have, too. Then they started throwing out names for Roland and I started feeling queasy. Here's hoping they end up with the perfect Roland.

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on being a runner-up in the contest. Awesome!

    I almost always prefer the books to the movies made from them. It's so hard to watch the actors when I've already got my own images of the characters in my head.
    I definitely wouldn't say no to one of my books being made into a movie though LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, neither would I. :p Some of the actors are good enough that I then change that mental image to them, but I imagine that only happens if I'm not really attached to the ones I created in my head. For favorite books (like Dark Tower), not so much.

      Delete
  9. If I have a week like last week, I'll finish NaNo early. Yeah, that's gonna happen, NOT! Oh well, it was a great start.
    I don't usually like books made into movies, but gosh, I'd love to see mine as one, or two, or three. Who wouldn't, another out there dream - but nothing wrong with dreams.
    I know I've seen a few that I've been disappointed with, but can't think of a one right now. Although, I thought the twilight series, except for the wolves, was really, really bad - then again I didn't read the books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say the movies were on par with the books, as far as Twilight. ;) I did like the premise of the wolves, though.

      Hope you're kicking NaNo's butt this week!

      Delete
  10. I don't care anymore about the movie/book thing. I used to, but, hey, it's just a part of life.
    And it's where the real money is if the adaptation is good, so I can't begrudge an author doing it.

    I think House would be a great movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree it would be a great movie. A lot of imagery and cool effects could come of it.

      I certainly don't begrudge authors doing it. It's an income, and how exciting to see your book make it to the screen.

      Delete
  11. I don't mind novels being turned into movies. But only if I haven't read the book though. I get disappointed if I 've read a wonderful novel and the movie sucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is definitely disappointing when it isn't good. Yet I can't help but get excited if the preview looks good.

      Delete
  12. Most times the movie isn't as good (Twilight comes to mind and the miscasting of Tom Cruise as Lestat) but sometimes they get it mostly right, like LOTR, HP, The Hunger Games, and Jaws.

    I'd love West of Paradise to be made into a movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Jaws, yes! Is that a case of the movie being better than the book, or was the book good, as well? I haven't read it.

      Delete
  13. When it comes to Stephen King's work, I find the novellas and short stories survive the transition to the screen a lot better. His novels are just too long and complex to easily translate to that medium. There are some exceptions, of course, but I was so disappointed with Cujo, Christine, Bag of Bones, etc.

    I would be very selective about who I sold my rights too, as I know how disappointed people are when a movie is a sorry imitation of the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oddly enough, I haven't seen Bag of Bones. I did read it, though. I agree that his short stories do better as movies than the novels, in general. Stand By Me, Shawshank. Both excellent.

      Delete
  14. Very few are better when it comes to books to movies. Yeah, not holding my breathe for the dark tower getting made either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been almost made about a billion times now.

      Delete
  15. In my experience, book to movie (or TV series) process is rarely equalizing. The movie is either better than the book or much worse. A couple cases when I think a TV series is better than a book include Bones and Ms. Fisher's Murder Mysteries. The cases where a movie or TV series are worse than a book are too numerous to count.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did like Bones, the series, though I also liked Kathy Reichs' books. They were dryer than the series.

      Delete
  16. Congrats on your story!!!
    I know that quiet dread after hearing about a book to movie deal. I have to remind myself constantly that the screen is a different storytelling medium. I have enjoyed the way The Hunger Games and most of how The Hobbit were made into movies. I wanted Ender's Game to just be a little different here and there, and I liked The Giver. I struggled with LOTR more than The Hobbit, partly because I think Martin Freeman is an incredible actor and because I finally got used to Peter Jackson's take on middle earth - although I still think he likes to skip the happy scenes a little too much - Beorn deserved a better chance at doing well on screen.
    Anyway, I guess it depends on the adaptation. There are a few books (Maze Runner, How to Tame Your Dragon, and Fried Green Tomatoes) that I liked better on the screen. One thing for certain - book to movie adaptations are always good conversation starters. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is certainly true that it's a good conversation starter! Something anyone can talk about. I agree on Maze Runner and HTTYD. I never read Fried Green Tomatoes, but it's definitely a good movie. I hadn't thought about Beorn deserving a better chance onscreen, but it had been a long time since I'd read LOTR before seeing the movies.

      Delete
  17. Congratulations on your flash!

    I'm certainly interested in how The Dark Tower shapes up. It's such a big story, and the end of those books could make such a strange and unsatisfying film if not executed perfectly.

    Also, Roland being Eastwood-like was not just in your head! When Eddie Dean first sees him, he thinks he is Eastwood, or an impersonator. There's a spoiler-y reason for it, as thought he god of that world actually shaped Roland based on Eastwood's influence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, there you go! It's been awhile since I read it, so I had forgotten he actually compared Eastwood and Roland. I really need to read the books again. There was such a space between the first and last one, that I'd forgotten a lot of the pertinent details by the time I read the close.

      Delete
  18. I like the same movies from books you do. I hope the best for The Dark Tower series but being as I haven't finished it yet, I'll hold off seeing it until afterwards. I usually always enjoy the books more but there are some that get made that are awesome!! Congrats on the contest!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to read Dark Tower again. I guess when I see actual previews of a film pop up, I'll read it then.

      Delete