Friday, February 10, 2012

Storyteller's Journey

    Classic Book... to Cinema

While watching the Super Bowl last Sunday, I was taken with the number of advertised movie trailers; more than that, the number of movies that originated as classic books or novels. The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss; John Carter, by Edgar Rice Burroughs; and of course, Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; are just a few of the movies soon to be released that found their beginnings in a children's book.
The growing trend of Hollywood to transform a classic book, or novel, into a cinematic blockbuster seems to be at a fever pitch. While the big-hitter, Disney, has long enjoyed a partnership with classic children's books - now, the mainstream movie market also looks to authors for a ready-made hero's journey. Most writers, myself included, would be ecstatic to see their passion-filled pages merely in print; the thought of our novels being viewed on the silver screen, is the stuff that only happens in our dreams! However, it occurs to me that the well-prepared writer should take the time to consider the remote possibility that a movie house could come calling. Therefore, finding great literary and legal representation should include a discussion of movie rights. I have read of more than one account of an author who regretted her lack of knowledge when it came time to sit around the negotiating table.

This topic is definitely not something I need to worry about any time soon! However, watching all those movie trailers took my mind down a delightful bunny trail. I remember thinking, after I'd  finished writing my first manuscript, that Vanessa Hudgens would be a great actress to portray my secondary character, Daphne the dryad! (^_^) Yeah, right.

Have you ever pondered what actor/actress might play your character?


  1. I am basing my leading man on three different people. He has the facial expressions and mannerisms as Ian Somerhalder. His passion for country and sense of duty is inspired by Jack Bauer and his ability to love is inspired by Mr. Darcy.

  2. I don't keep movie stars in mind for my books; seems like a long (tho exciting) shot, but more and more books ARE being turned into movies these days. I'd be really picky if my book got turned into a movie. My perceptions of characters are quite precise, for my own as well as others'. For instance, I'm not that thrilled with the actress playing Katniss in HUNGER GAMES...the way she speaks, or something. Not quite right.

  3. Carol - I agree with your comment about the actress playing Katniss - her facial features aren't what I pictured when I read the book. I do like to have an image of my character in my mind while I write - whether it's an actor, neighbor, or just someone I find in a magazine. Thanks for you feedback - Carol and Kriston.

  4. When I'm writing, my developing story is always like a film reel in my mind. I have a file for one of my WIP, and in it are pictures from magazines of buildings, objects and people. The people are usually celebs, used as a point of focus rather than a character in my work. By this I mean, character A has similar attributes to actor B, or a character they have played.