Film to book

I think I’ve broken the curse of this goddamn song.

I spoke a while ago about how I spent a day or two casting actors I like as characters in Tallulah, as is the wont of a great many people. I tend to think of my stories in visual terms, so while I’m writing them as books, it is in many ways only because I can’t make them into movies, because money.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend (also a writer) about this, and once I started telling her about how the casting of actors as my characters ended up leading me to alter my ideas of the characters in small but very notable ways, I also started remembering what they used to be like.

And I also remembered how much I like the characters they used to be.

And then today, while running through the largest character-arc next to Tallulah’s in order to map it out, I ran into a scene that I love, as much for what it could be as for what it actually is, and it’s a scene that only makes sense with the ‘book version’ of my characters.

And it all came flooding back: how these characters felt about and interacted with the world and each other, their attitudes and values and beliefs, their blind-spots, their passions, their faults and virtues – all as I’d thought of them before casting actors in their roles.

It’s only for a few of the characters, really, and in some cases it actually just strengthened my idea of who they already were, but the main characters were quite seriously altered. So today I’ve decided to ‘revert’, to strip away the movie version of these characters – who are good characters, but not the ones I wrote this book for – and get back in touch with this story for what it is: a book.

I’ve wanted to get better at thinking of my books as books, rather than substitutes for the movies I can’t make, for a long time, and now seems as good a time as any to get started.

There’s less time in a movie, and that results in characters being written a certain way for telling certain stories, and when I think of actors playing roles, even if it’s a role for a book, that style of characterisation inevitably seeps in.

I’ve got a book, which means I’ve got time. Or, rather, space. There’s more space in a book.

It’s time to get re-acquainted with it.


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