The Key to Adapting Books into Movies/TV Shows

Isn’t it wonderful to see your favorite scenes come to life? As a book lover, I get excited when I hear one of my favorites is going to be adapted. But this also makes me nervous because it’s so likely that I’ll be disappointed. We’ve been hearing hints from Marissa Meyer the that The Lunar Chronicles is going to be turned into a TV series or movie. To channel my feelings, I decided to make a post about qualities of good adaptations.

Hhmeeting.jpg

Plot Accuracy

A film adaption does not need to be a word for word recitation of the books. When a book is rewritten as a screenplay, it is inevitable that there are going to be changes. The two examples I’m using to develop this point are “Shadowhunters – The Mortal Instruments”, and Netflix’s “Anne With An E.” Both of these are shows adapted from books, and both of them have differences between the books and the movies.

I loved reading “The Mortal Instruments” as a book series, so when I started watching the TV series, I was excited to see my favorite moments brought to life. However, the plot of Shadowhunters deviates so greatly from the original plot that after the first season, there is very little correlation between the books and episodes. “Anne With An E” also includes scenes not in the books, yet these scenes help to develop the plot and characters, rather than destroying them. We learn about relationships that were not focused on in the books, and about the back stories of different characters. These extra details help to amplify Anne’s story rather than taking it in a completely different direction.

anne-of-green-gables-2.jpg

Actors

Choosing actors that are talented, look the part, and have good chemistry is quite important. As readers read a book, they process the characters and eventually come to think of them as real people. Visual accuracy is important in satisfying readers, but what I believe matters more is that the actors can portray the character’s actions in a way that fits the book characters. Everyone imagines a character looking a bit different, but the character’s personality should be a constant.

Sets and Special Effects

Now this is a topic I know very little about, so I’m not talking about details. However, a problem that I’ve seen time and time again, is people trying to hard. In the films for the Ruby Red Trilogy (Rubinrot), they used sets and lighting to attempt to create a very ominous atmosphere throughout the films. However, in many places, they overdid themselves, and rather than feeling the tension, my friend and I and could not stop laughing at how ridiculous it felt.

This also happens with special effects. In “Catwoman,” after her transformation, they wanted to show how catlike she was. However, the way the actress was leaping all around the screen seemed too easy and too instant even for a cat. Most cats are agile, but not explosively bouncy.

fe03b3ee028eb60f91ec3dd6cf706314.jpg

Themes

What’s most important is that the themes and topics portrayed in the books and movies are the same. The Harry Potter films and “A Very Potter Musical” are two drastically different adaptations (I know that AVPM is not a movie or a show). Yet in the end, they both show how great a person’s inner strength can be, and they’re both about the love between friends. Consequently, despite all of the inaccuracies, fans have a deep fondness for them both. We gotta get back to Hogwarts anyone?

SoggyFlippantDodobird-size_restricted.gif

What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree with these points? What books would you love to see an adaption of?

Advertisements

Why It’s Fine to Use the Word “Said” in Fiction

I’ve been told many times not to use the word “said” in fiction. People say that it is overused or unspecific. However, “said” can be a powerful word in any writer’s arsenal if used correctly.

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 9.46.13 AM

The stories we love most are the ones that draw us in most completely. They allow us to forget about the world around us because of the strength of the writing. However, when unusual dialogue tags pop up, such as “replied,” “conveyed,” or “uttered,” it draws the reader out of the story. Simple tags such as “whispered” or “shouted” are alright if used well, but if the situation, dialogue, and characters are all well-written, the reader will sense how people are speaking, rather than having to be told repeatedly.

The beautiful thing about the word “said” is that it is invisible. In an interesting book, readers will note that it is present but will not have to spend time processing it, which lets them focus on the more important components of the language and story. Eyes skim over “said” and see the larger actions, the poignancy of the dialogue, and the atmosphere.

Another method, for those who dislike “said,” is simply not to use dialogue tags at all. Writers should do this cautiously so that the language is not confusing, but as long as it is clear which character is speaking, the absence of tags is perfectly acceptable. In a long passage of dialogue, extra words often begin to weigh the character’s speech down. Writing without tags that is done well allows the voices of the characters to take precedence.

Like any word, “said” should not be used constantly or it will become redundant. But writers should not be afraid to use a world that can greatly aid them in conveying their story.

 

Sorry guys, I’m sick and haven’t done much posting. But being home alone and feeling dead has given me plenty of reading time. I’m almost done with “Queen of Air and Darkness,” and I’m anxious to find out how it ends!

-Luna

All’s Well that Ends with Astronomy

I explored writing in different genres, but sci-fi is one that I haven’t attempted yet just because it requires research in order to become believable, and I’m slightly cough cough too lazy to do that. But I’m taking astronomy for fun in school, and my teacher said that we can do a project in any format we like, as long as we include enough scientific information. Along with my friend Han, I decided to write a science fiction piece.

Attempting science fiction for the first time taught me a lot. I learned how much effort it takes to create situations that are unrealistic enough to be exciting, but still have the air of plausibility. I figured out how to dump a huge amount of scientific content into a piece of writing and still have it flow as a story. I found that I’m so used to writing my stories in literary past that it’s difficult for me to remember to stay in literary present. I learned a lot about writing with another person; an art all on its own.

download

The story is about two girls living far in the future, near the time that the sun will grow and life will no longer be possible on Earth. However, the world leaders are caught up in nuclear warfare and nobody is able to do anything about this, or more specifically, escape. These girls find a way to escape Earth, but their plan has some serious miscalculations and they end up being pulled into a black hole.

It’s too long for me to post the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:

“Well, this one looks interesting,” Alex remarks, picking up at book titled, A Black Hole. “Or, a black vacuum,” she mutters. She opens the book and begins flipping through the pages of trajectories of far away black holes. Near the end, she finds a page that is starred and labeled as the one most likely to reach Earth. Her heart beginning to beat faster, she looks at the drawings and looks through the man’s math. Everything seems makes sense. “Charlotte,” she says quietly. “This black hole is going to reach and disrupt the solar system in six months. I think… This guy has bad handwriting.”

Charlotte was looking at the different stacks of paper on the desk. They were covered in notes about many variations of rocket fuel and blueprints of a two person ship.

“I mean, he was the guy who knew all of this.” Alex gestures at all of the journals. “Maybe he built himself a spaceship so that he could escape this doomed planet.”

“Do you think he’s gone?” Charlotte asks. “Do you think he’s already flown away?”

“Judging by his calculations, no.” Alex answers, having wandered over to the desk, where she was looking through a different pile. “He’s planning to leave in three days.”

“We have to find him,” Charlotte says determinedly. “We can kill him and steal the ship.”

“Charlotte!” Alex cries. “We’re not going to kill him. But if we go to city hall, we can find out who this shed belongs to, and track him down, and we can talk to him. Not kill him. Killing is bad.”

Charlotte sighs. “Fine. But if he declines our request to come with him, then we’ll kill him. Or hold him hostage. Either works for me.”

images

I hope you guys enjoyed this!

-Luna

How well do you know the Throne of Glass Series?

It’s likely that you’ve come across and read the Throne of Glass series. But how well do you really know it?

There was trivia at the KOA release events. Nova and I wanted to do well on this, so we studied quite a lot ahead of time. I realized afterwards that we had overdone it a bit, but we had fun learning all of these facts!

Spoilers for the entire series except Kingdom of Ash.

maxresdefault.jpgWhat color is the cape Dorian wears when they first ride to the palace?
What is the name of the king’s sword?
Is Fleetfoot purebred?
What does Wyrd mean?
What’s Aedion’s army called?
What does Rowan use to keep the tattoos from healing too quickly?
What animal is featured on Ansel’s armor?
What is the first constellation that Celaena shows Ansel?
What item does Celaena give Yrene along with the money and note?
What are all of the animal forms of Rowan’s cadre?
Does Maeve wear a crown?
When did Aelin first realize Rowan was her mate?

Image result for throne of glass series

What is the name of Celeana’s Asterion mare?
What is the significance of the gold couch?
What is Sartaq’s ruk called?
What hangs in Silba’s womb?
What is the name of Dorian’s mother?
There is a scar on Chaol’s temple, barely hidden by his hair, who gave it to him?
Describe the significance of gold and provide examples.
Who was revealed to be dead at the beginning of Assassin’s Blade, and what position had he held in the keep?
What is belladonna?
What did Mort do when Celeana told him her name, and why?
What constellation sits at the head of Gavin’s sarcophagus?

If  you want to try my trivia for the lunar chronicles, you can find it here: The Lunar Chronicles Trivia. It’s slightly easier than the TOG.

How did you guys do?

-Luna

A Court of Feels and Fangirling

Do you aspire to be a true fangirl? (Or a fanboy).

screen shot 2019-01-25 at 8.18.41 am
A Picture I Stole from Amazon

I thought I’d get this mug as a gift, for my friend Nova, a huge fan of Sarah J, Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses Series.

In hindsight, I really wish I hadn’t bought it.

When the mug arrived, I took it out of the box and was at first content with it; I planned to wrap it up and bring it to her. Then I looked closer and noticed that the mug said “fandirling.” (If any you know what a fandirl is, please tell me, because I still have no idea.)

img_20190125_004021
What Actually Arrived

I emailed the company, and they apologized and offered to send me another mug with the correct printing. But when the mug came, it also said “fandirling.”

This happened again until I had four misprinted mugs and decided that I really didn’t need any more. But hey, I was refunded and got four mugs for the price of zero, which I consider to be a pretty good deal.

This left me a couple of days before Christmas with no great present for my friend. Luckily, Nova is a sweetheart and thought my story was hilarious, and I got her something better after Christmas.

Moral of the story is…it’s good to be fandirl? One day, I hope I can look back on this story and laugh, without remembering my utter feeling of dismay when I opened the fourth wrong mug.

 

What book merchandise do you guys own? How did you come by it?

-Luna

Storytelling with Kids

This post, unlike most of mine, has little to do with my book obsession, and is more about laying the foundation for obsession in others.

There can something magical about reading to kids. Even with the most simplistic of children’s books, they become attached to characters much faster and more easily than I do. They become so invested in such short stories, and they way they care can bring out softness in even the most energetic of kids.

During the entire summer, I take care of about twelve four-year-olds every day. Which gets exhausting fast. So I know that there are some kids who refuse to sit down, who are sweet, sweet kids, but just have so much energy constantly. These are the kids that make it even more satisfying when they actually become interested in a little book and are willing to stop moving long enough to hear the story.

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.20.00 PMScreen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.19.13 PM

There’s also this constant curiosity in them that I love. Kids want to know about everything: from where the pipes in the ceiling are going to how chameleons change color. This is a curiosity that’s hard to satiate when there are questions coming at me from twelve directions at once, especially when I have no idea how to answer some of the questions. I don’t know how chameleons change color. Maybe I should go figure it out? But anyway, I try to never dismiss a kid’s curiosity about a book, after all, the books I read often leave me with dozens of questions as well.

There’s a certain comfort that reading with a kid can give. When I was little, my dad used to read picture books with me every night, and even long after I knew how to read myself, this was still my favorite part of the day. Now that I’m the one doing the reading, I still love these moments. It isn’t always the story, it’s the atmosphere, the beauty of bringing another happy ending to eager ears.

Reading helps stimulate the imagination and understanding of young children to an almost shocking level. It helps them to develop their language skills and prepares them for learning to read.I would say more about this, but I’m not a scientist and would probably say some very stupid, so that’s the end of this point.

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.20.47 PM

Read with your kids. My memories of being read to by my father are some of my most precious, and are also the reason that I love writing and storytelling. Spread some of that magic, and trust me that it is magic.

-Luna

How Well do you Know The Lunar Chronicles?

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my absolute favorite series. The same is true for my friend Nova, so we try to come up with the hardest possible questions to ask each other. I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you guys. I’ll comment the answers below. If you haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles, you need to start, they’re amazing!

Warning, these come from all four books so there are spoilers!

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 3.38.12 PM

What kind of flowers does Winter receive as a gift?

How long did Scarlet know Wolf before she kissed him?

What fairytale character does Aimery represent?

How many univs does Cinder’s new foot cost?

What type canned food does Cress drop immediately after Thorne gets his eyesight back?

What does Wolf attempt to use to open a can of tomatoes?

What is Scarlet’s favorite type of cake?

What is Wolf’s tattoo number?

What does Levana give to Kai as a wedding gift?

What does Cinder consider etching into the wall of the prison?

 

Hope you had fun trying to answer some of these!

-Luna