Friday, June 14, 2013

Novelizations: Why Bother?

There are plenty of good reasons to go to the movies when our favorite book is transformed for the screen. Even when we don’t love what Hollywood does to our beloved works of prose, we have reason to expect a different artistic experience. And there is always the possibility (though slight) that it might be even better than the book. A lot of people (certainly not all) felt that way about The English Patient. Almost no one felt it about Reacher. Still, it was a different experience. It was meant to be. But novelizations? They’re different. As Christopher Shultz explains in Litreactor:
For those of you in the dark, a novelization is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a transformation of a movie into a book, whereby the original narrative is delivered to audiences not through images, sounds and special effects, but through prose—or, the exact opposite of a novel's adaptation to the big screen.
And because, more often than not, a novelization’s big purpose is not to fill your heart or illuminate your soul, but rather to empty your pockets, there is not much hope for art. Even so, as Shultz points out, for some readers, novelizations can have a certain charm and, perhaps especially for younger readers, a definite strong appeal.

You can read Shultz’s well-stated thoughts here.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Susan Reiss said...

Good perspective. Sometimes I think people want to relive a story in their mind's eye, too. And don't forget the ultimate novelization: Love Story! Everyone was so impressed how closely the movie followed the book. They didn't realize it was written just after the movie was released!

Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 3:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Elaine J Jackson said...

I rue the demise of the TV novelisation - as a teenager I saw them as a way to get closer to my favourite characters, to hear their inner thoughts and motivations in a way that a 45 minute episode could never quite do; and books have always been my first love. Imagine my dissapointment when (as often happened) the novelisations were often little more than the script in print, with little or no interior monologue. Wanting to read those thoughts was what got started me writing fiction in the first place...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 12:08:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lisa Kovanda said...

I write many dual script/book projects. And I do them simultaneously. I usually complete the script first, but as a novelist, by the time I'm finished with the screenplay, I have pages upon pages of stuff I couldn't fit into a movie, or characterizations I would like to further explore in the novel.

The key is understanding the differences between the two mediums, and using each to best explore an aspect of the story.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 12:14:00 PM PDT  

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