Our resident hound asked, “If one — and only one — of your stories would be adapted for the silver screen, which one would you select? Would you prefer to write the screenplay… or just watch from the sidelines while the studio uses whoever they use for such projects?”
This scenario seems a bit like the dilemma of choosing one’s favorite child. Authors often think of their writing in much the same way that we think of our children; we nurture them and watch them grow, and with great trepidation we send them off into the world, hoping that we’ve done enough for them to succeed. That said, as parents, we observe strengths each of our children has, and we have expectations about how they might do in certain situations.
I’ve read that some authors actually “see” their stories in their minds, as if they’re watching a movie, and all they have to do is write the words (I’m totally envious – that sounds so much better than my “pulling teeth” method).
I think I’ve envisioned each of my stories as a movie. Since I write sweet romance, I’ve often had friends tell me they could see my novellas as a made-for-TV movie on a popular channel that produces small-town sweet romance stories. That would be nice, too. But as far as a big budget action movie to be seen in a theater (I’m assuming that’s what’s meant by “silver screen”) I guess only one of my books might work in that setting, and that’s my first full-length novel, The Samurai’s Garden. For one thing, it’s the only one of my books that’s long enough for a film, and it’s got more of the sort of action that seems to be popular in films. There’s an actual fight scene, and the action takes place over a few years.
I don’t think I’d want to write the screenplay. That book took me seven years to write, and that’s plenty of time to live in a story. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d want to see it. I don’t watch many films anyway, and knowing what happens to most stories when they’re adapted for the movie experience, I’m sure I’d be disappointed at some of the things that the creative geniuses would choose to leave out. I’d be satisfied just to know that someone thought my story good enough to make into a format that others would enjoy.
And maybe I’d earn enough from selling the movie rights to splurge on a popcorn machine.