Booking Through Thursday: Conversions

Do you find yourself thinking that the books you read would be good on film? Do you wish the things you watched on TV or in the movies were available as book?

Some really can’t be converted, of course, but some definitely can (and it’s not always the ones you think will work). There’s something to be said for different forms of media, but a good story is universal … or is it?

I have a pretty cinematic imagination, so I often ‘see’ the events of a novel in my mind’s eye as a film. As Stephen King says in About Writing, writing is a form of telepathy, transmitting images into people’s brains.

But at the end of the day, novels and films are two very different mediums. A novel can afford better access to the internal lives of its characters, and it doesn’t have a budget—it’s the whole reason George R. R. Martin wrote A Game of Thrones as a book instead of for the screen, since he was fed up with budgetary constraints. (It must feel really weird adapting it for the screen.) I don’t wish things I watched on television or saw as films were available as books, unless you mean having the shooting script available, which can be invaluable. They’re two different things; the very act of adaptation necessarily changes the original story, even for the most faithful adaptation.

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