Friday, April 04, 2014

CJ Carmichael: BOOKS VERSUS MOVIES: Which Do You Prefer?

I love stories in all forms. Not just books, but movies and TV shows as well. I bet you do, as well. Most often, however, if a story started life as a book, only to be subsequently produced as a movie or TV show, I’ll end up preferring the book. Not always. But usually.

The list of books that were much better than movies for me includes:

The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), The Road (Cormac McCarthy), Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell), To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Time-Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger), In Her Shoes (Jennifer Weiner), Emma (Jane Austen)

Movies that I enjoyed as much as the original books:

Life of Pi (Yann Martel), A Room With A View (E.M. Forster), The Hours (Michael Cunningham), Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen)

Movies that I enjoyed MORE than the original books:

The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje), The Shipping News (Annie Proulx)

There are so many more titles in the first category, than the other two. And that’s because, if I loved a book, I almost never love the movie quite as much.

But What About Soundtracks?

For the most part I’m much happier writing books than I think I would be writing screenplays. Getting inside a character’s head is one of the best parts of my job. And that’s hard to do in the movies (unless you use a narrator). One tool at the disposal of the screenwriter, that I wish I could also have, however, is the ability to have a soundtrack. So often when I’m writing, a song will come to mind. Something that I feel captures the mood of the scene, exactly. If only I could give that experience to my reader!

The second best thing is to make up a playlist to share with readers. And that is something my publishers did for my recent release, Good Together. I’d like to share a link to that playlist today. It’s a list of the songs my main character, Mattie Carrigan, is listening to when her neighbor, Nat Diamond, drops by to see how she’s doing since her husband left her. The songs are tear-jerkers, and Nat asks her, “What is this? Music to slit your wrists by?”

I happen to think they’re lovely songs, and I hope that you do too!  


Janine said...

I like both forms, movies and books. It all depends on my mood and what the story is or if I'm just feeling lazy and want to lay there in front of the tv and have the story told to me.

Kelly Hunter said...

Do comics count as books? Can I say Thor? Because for some strange reason I think I prefer the movie version of that one. Love the playlist, CJ.

CJ Carmichael said...

Hey Kelly, glad you enjoyed the play list. I love it, too!

Janine, the other nice thing about movies and tv is that you can watch the stories with other people!