Saturday, July 27, 2013

Screen Print(ing)

Recently, I watched Jack Reacher on a plane. Up until that point, I had not ready any of Lee Child's novels.

A few days after watching the movie, I looked for and saw the first Reacher book (Killing Floor) at a bookstore. I picked it up. I'm currently reading the fifth one. My brother, whose reading pace would shame Evelyn Wood, started after I did and has bought and read them all.

It's a cliche (and a nearly universal truth) that the book is better than the movie. But can't the movie inspire us to read the book? Maybe I would have gotten around to the Reacher series eventually. However, I enjoyed the movie and sought out the books.

How many people who had never read Tolkien did so because they saw a Lord of the Rings movie (or The Hobbit)? What about the Harry Potter series? I saw all the movies before I read any of the books. Granted, Ms. Rowling doesn't need my money to buy her next vacation mansion, but a popular movie or TV show can ring more sales for the author. Stephen King has sold a zillion books (note: this is the actual number). A lot of them have also been made into movies and TV miniseries. While those have helped keep King's pockets lined with green, how many sales did he get because people experienced one of his stories on the big (or small) screen for the first time?

Stephen King and J.K. Rowling are already rich, to the point they probably won't notice if someone gets into their books because they saw a movie. For a lot of authors, though, the sales boost that can come from a movie or TV show could be huge.

My questions to you: do you write with an eye toward getting your stories turned into TV shows or movies? Do you see the scenes unfold as if you were watching them on a screen? Does this manifest itself in your word choices, action scenes, etc? How do you think that affects your writing?

When I finished my first novel, a friend told me it would make a good action movie. I didn't think that was a compliment at the time. It may not be. But it certainly couldn't hurt.

Happy writing.

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