From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Adaptation

And here we go, everybody! The beginning of April, which means the A to Z challenge has officially begun!

As I said before, around here we're going to be talking about writing and creativity and marketing as an author and all that good stuff.

When I was coming up with topics for the month, my roommate (who knows me way too well) suggested I start with A is for Acolin Firth. And then B is for Bcolin Firth. (It's super super funny late at night when you make the sounds like Ahhcolin Firth. Trust me.) Anyway, I thought about it, and who doesn't want more Colin Firth, but alas, we're going to try and be serious. Very serious. Serious as a coffin nail. And everyone knows, coffin nails are theriuth bithneth.

Um, but here's a picture of Colin Firth anyway.


So. Adaptation. No, not the movie with Meryl Streep and Nicolas Cage (I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the two of them exist on the same planet, let alone in one movie.)

Think of how many movies are adaptations of books. Lately it seems like every movie is an adaptation. But direct adaptation can be a very, very useful tool for novelists too, not just screenwriters.

I recently read a great book called A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan which is a futuristic, sci-fi adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. And think of all the great books by writers like Gregory Maguire and Robin McKinley that are adaptations of classic fairy tales. And we don't have to stop at fairy tales. Basically everything Shakespeare wrote was an adaptation of something else, and look how incredibly that turned out.

I think we writers worry so much about being original, when really that may be one of the worst things we can do. The best of all the people ever of all C. S. Lewis said, "in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." This applies when we're telling our own stories or if we're adapting other stories and making them our own.

I've always thought it would be fascinating to take secondary characters from fairy tales and find different ways of adapting their stories. I mean, Gepetto is pretty fascinating if you ask me, and I want to know more about him. And Captain Hook, although there are lots of great writers who have given us more of his story.

What stories and characters do you think it would be fun to adapt?

Sarah Allen

P.S. Welcome to all the new A to Z visitors! I invite you to subscribe to this here bloggy blog or connect on Facebook or Twitter or any of the other places via the big red buttons on the left side and make sure to leave me links to your profiles so we can stay cyber friends even when April is over, and forever! (And ever and ever and ever. I'm not the person staring in at your window. But I like your shirt. Just kidding, I'm not a creeper. Usually. Please be my friend.)

14 comments:

  1. Your roommate's idea might have been very interesting LOL. I like your idea of adapting secondary characters from fairy tails-- totally agree with you about Gepetto and Captain Hook! Sometimes it's the side characters who can steal a story.

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  2. I second Lewis' sentiments. There's nothing new under the sun, but our take on it makes it original.
    Still chuckling about your Streep-Cage comment!

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  3. C.S. Lewis was a great writer so any comment he makes has gotta be good. I like AColin Firth though.

    Secondary characters, good idea.

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  4. I have to agree that a movie with Cage and Streep was wierd. And Adaptation was a very wierd movie.

    Hugs and chocolate!
    Shelly

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  5. C. S. Lewis was one of my favorite authors when I was growing up. Hmm, which stories and secondary character to I think would be interesting to adapt? It would be interesting to get Rochester's take on Jane Eyre.

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  6. Your roommate's idea totally cracked me up. Love it. :D

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  7. Nice pic of Colin Firth. (He looks better close up). Can't think of any fairy tales I'd like to adapt. Others already do it so well.
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  8. Colin Firth is fabulous - should have saved him for F! I'm reading a book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society now, a suggestion from another blogger. Fascinating story of what happened on Guernsey during WWII, told through letters. I think it could be adapted into a really good movie. The book itself is funny and charming and sad, all at once.

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  9. Great pick for your A to Z theme! I'm not generally a fan of adaptations, only because they rarely capture the magic of what I've seen inside my head.

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  10. We all have a multitude of influences, everything comes from something else but still produces new stuff that feels original and fresh. I think it's more about the person telling the story and how invested they are in it.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  11. I'd have to agree with Rob R Milne on the fact that adaptation at times fail to deliver the complete picture into readers' minds. Well, I guess we all have different perspectives.

    #theawsomedish.blogspot.com

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  12. What a wonderful post. I never thought about adaptation in that way. I've thought of and accepted re-tellings of fairy tales. But you're right there is so much more to it.

    I wonder how hard done by Cinderella's stepsisters felt when their fairy tale played out.

    Yes, yes, this is a brilliant idea.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  13. Great minds think alike - my A is adaptation too - although a very different take. Thank you for the picture of Colin. Sigh. Happy A to Z - ing.

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  14. I know it's old hat by now, but I would love to adapt Beauty and the Beast, or Blue Beard... or The Goose and the Golden Egg... there are so many, haha.

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan. "B is for Books" is my current post.

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