Day 62 – books vs movies

Even though I haven’t actually had the brain to write much fiction this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the writing process. And after watching two very excellent and entirely different movies this week: Serenity at Geek Movie Night, and later the beautiful and thought provoking Dancing at the Blue Iguana, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different way we can tell stories.

I like movies; movies, done well, can tell a lot of story with a few images. The score, the lighting, the composition of the shot can subtly tell us things it would take thousands of words to lay out, and would take away some of the mystery in the process.

I like books; a book, well written, doesn’t hit you over the head with the plot, or the characters, but lays it out in a way you can meander through and discover on your own. And has the capacity to add narrative and description to fully flesh out details that would just be skimmed over in a few hours. Juicy. Books allow you the space and the data to fully immerse yourself in a world.

I’m finding as I try and write fiction, it starts as stories in my head, something akin to memories. Providing I’m not tired, or busy, or distracted, I can visit that place in my mind, watch the characters, see what’s going on in their lives, see where the story I’m still creating is taking them. THEN I still have to translate that into words, to pick and choose, compose the script that tells the story I’ve got in my mind’s eye.

So all these excellent movies have got me thinking, maybe I should be writing screenplays. Create the visual story right from the get go, cut out the middle man of language a little bit.

Then I realized no, that’s not what I want to do. What I want to do is write words that make images come to life in people’s minds.

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