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What is better, the book or the movie? That is a question that we hear many times, specially when talking about a recent release. However, there is no real answer to that question. Really, there is not. This is why.
I have found that book lovers (including myself) enjoy reading the book, but love seeing the movie for these reasons –
- You want to see the images in the movie and compare them to the images that you have stored in your mind after reading the book.
- You want to re-live the book using other senses.
- You want to see the interpretation of that book in film and how it compares to the book. Did they get it right?
- You want to put faces to the main characters in the book. You probably may have cast some in your mind.
- You watch the movie as an extension of the book.
There are many other reasons, as reading a book and watching the movie is a personal experience, one that each reader/movie goer makes as individual as their senses. This is why there is no straight answer to that question. For some the book is better than the movie, for others, the opposite may be true. Some will hate both (although, if they hated the book I doubt they will go to see the movie). And, for a few others, they will love both, and will keep re-reading and watching over and over. I count myself in that last group – many times.
On this topic
If you are familiar with the Harry Potter books you know what Platform 9 3/4 is. It is the platform that you take to get to Hogwarts. It is not visible, marked, but it is there, and you must find it to get through. Sometimes, you must take Platform 9 3/4 to be able to get to where you want to be, even when you think there is no entrance or when it feels as there is nothing there. In life’s creative path, this is true for most artists. Heading to our own Hogwarts without knowning how it will turn out, or if we will reach it. For many, it takes abandoning the traditional route or clearly numbered platform and leaping into faith. However, it is not a blind leap. You know that Hogwarts is on the other side, if you dare to take the leap.
I too, have taken Platform 9 3/4 and I am headed straight to my own Hogwarts. Dare to jump?
Magic Versus Grounding
How do you like to write your fiction? Do you like magical settings and characters, or do you like some grounding elements that may give the story more realism? I would choose one or the other for good continuity. The Harry Potter books are a good example of magical worlds. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is an example of grounding a magical and fictional world. She gave her vampires and werewolves characteristics of nature or used cultural folklore to make her settings and characters more real to the reader.
To ground a fictional story you can utilize science as well. You can stretch the imagination of the reader but still keep a small piece tied to the ground.
Mind your ideas.
Ideas come from everywhere; from something you heard, saw, remembered, an object, a smell, or from something you read. Some writers avoid reading the genre in which they are writing their current piece. The reason, they are weary of borrowing any ideas, without intention.
The other day I read about the lawsuit going on between the estate of British author Adrian Jacobs and J.K. Rowling. It alleges plagiarism on Rowling’s part, but of course, not substantiated. It got me thinking on how many similar ideas float in a writer’s world, and how easy is to be influenced by a similar idea. I don’t consider this plagiarism, as many people can have the same idea and express it in a completely different way. This is not a copy. However, more than ever, we should mind our ideas, since writing has evolved in so many ways due to the internet and the many ways in which you can share your work these days. Ideas are free, and you are free to write what you want, as long as it does not land you in already claimed territory.