It’s been some time since I wrote a blog. It usually takes something getting under my skin to irritate me into writing about it. Today was such a day.
I am so tired of hearing people rant and rave about a movie not following the book it’s “based” on. Yes, I know some of them do not follow much of the book and take liberties to change a lot in the story, but I’ll bet you most people who complain about it have no idea of writing a screenplay that will work with the story, or are just complaining because everything isn’t exactly the same.
Case in point. I was looking for something else online and happened upon reviews given for a movie based on a book. Although this movie is not something I would recommend for young people to watch because of some of the language and a particular scene (which really doesn’t show anything but didn’t need to be there – Hollywood, ugh!), I enjoyed the story, and thought the movie very well done. The character was believable in his situation and the flow of the story did not lag, as so many do in SciFi.
In the reviews, there was one person how ranted and raved about the movie being all wrong and did not follow any of the short stories (there were several) from which the movie claimed to be based on. Obviously, this person didn’t watch the movie with an open mind but turned it into a review session right from the start. The movie, in actuality WAS based on several ideas from this author. The title was taken from his book with a collection of stories. But we all know that titles can be used over and over. Which (side line here) is one of the reasons we should check the title we want for our own books before assigning them to make sure there are not a ton of books with that same title.
Since there was no “reply” choice to the review, I made my own review. Along with giving the movie a 4 star, and the reasons why, I basically told the person with the awful review (based on their assumption that the movie was to be like the book) they needed to do more research.
Making a movie isn’t that much different than what we do as writers, people. We take situations and stories from our own lives and others we know, and we fit them into the story we create, changing certain facts and people. In the credits of the movie, the screenplay writers do not therefore say (for example) “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. They give credit to the work by saying, BASED ON the story/book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.
More people should watch the Special Features of movies where the directors or producers, or both, explain certain things about the making of the movie. They might learn something. They may even improve their own writing by finding out how these movie makers create stories. None writers may learn to just sit back and enjoy what these people work so hard and so long to create. Hmmm…that sounds like something an author would say.
Check out my friend and fellow-author, Jeff Salter’s first Christmas novel.
Announcing My Very First Christmas Novel
By Jeff Salter
First of all… Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and yours are happy, healthy, and among family and/or friends on this special American holiday.
Among the MANY, MANY things I have to be thankful for are the upcoming release (Dec. 13) of my very first Christmas novel. Random Sacks of Kindness is actually my 20th completed fiction title (including four novellas), and will become my 18th title to be published. I’ve always tried to market my published titles as Christmas approaches each year… but never had any titles which were set at that time of year. I’ve seen bocoodles of Christmas stories – both on TV and in book form – and often wondered if I’d ever find the time / inspiration to write my own novel with that holiday’s theme.
Well, I did! I wrote about half of this…
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by Sharon K. Connell
This article is not meant to put anyone down. The only intention is to draw your attention to the problem. And that goes for my use of the pronouns, too. It’s been said over and over, when you write it down the chances of remembering it are better. This article is meant to help all of us.
So many times when rereading my own writing, I’ve had to eliminate that one-letter-word. A good writer will take the time to do that. Whether you’re writing a novel or simply making a comment on social media, you don’t want to come off as full of yourself. It’s worth the time to reword your sentences.
On the other hand, if you are attempting to make a character in your story appear to be self-centered, into a narcissist, or show that he or she doesn’t care about anyone else but self, this is a perfect way to bring it out. When I want the reader to know the character is a selfish, self-centered person, I’ll start the majority of their sentences with the words “I” or “My.” The man or woman is not interested in anyone else but him or herself and what they want.
If you’re writing a story in first person, you’ll naturally use the words “I” or “My” often at the beginning of sentences. That’s not what I’m talking about here, though. What I’m talking about is authors (or anyone else) who make comments in social media using “I” to start almost every sentence. Dozens of them, along with the words “my” or “me,” in only a paragraph or two. Have they gotten so used to their first-person writing that they cannot communicate any other way? Is it all about you? If it is, I guess that’s okay.
Back when I was in school (yes, ancient history here), we were taught to never start a sentence with “I” or “My” when you’re not the subject of what’s being said. That’s true in almost every case.
To show you what I’m getting at, here are some sentences starting with the offensive pronoun (lol) and the changes made to avoid the I/Me/My issue.
I love to talk about animals and birds. (It’s all about what “I” love.)
Animals and birds are two subjects I love to talk about. (The subject is now centered on the Animals and birds.)
I should have asked if the shirt came in red before asking the clerk if they had more. (Self-incriminating ?)
Before the clerk went to find more, I should have asked if they had it in red. (Now the concern is on the possible inconvenience of the clerk.)
I had friends I wanted to visit for Christmas this year.
This year at Christmas, I wanted to visit friends.
I didn’t answer my cell when it rang.
When my cell rang, I didn’t answer.
My dinner was delayed because the power went out.
When the power went out, my dinner was delayed.
I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy when you see the surprise I have for you.
When you see the surprise I have for you, I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy.
When you put yourself last, it seems to sound better. The emphasis isn’t on you. Now that doesn’t mean you can never use the personal pronouns at the beginning of the sentence. Sometimes it sounds better if you do. Here are some samples.
I’m sorry I’m late.
I can tell you’ve been worried, but everything’s okay.
I’m pulling into the driveway
I’m in the back of the kitchen.”
I’m happy to see you too.
In these cases, I think the emphasis should be on self to show the emotion involved.
Again, this article is not to put anyone down or to say that someone who constantly uses personal pronouns to start their sentences is an egomaniac or narcissist. They probably do it more out of habit. But we as writers don’t want our readers to think negatively about our writing, so let’s try to avoid using these words at the beginning of our sentences. Let’s get into the practice of rewording, whether you’re writing a novel, writing a letter, or making a comment on social media.
Just my opinion.