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vivico1
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book


JamesRollins wrote:
The process starts with the screenplay, which is all visual. I have to create the internal: the thoughts, inner fears, reactions. Plus (hopefully) expanding upon elements brushed upon in the movie that I can elaborate in the novel. At least, that's how I'm understanding it. We shall see!

Jim


Yes we shall, because we will be looking for it Jim :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Stephanie
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

Jim,

Interesting! I assumed along with the screenplay, you would have the movie itself in hand for viewing, to help you to visualize scenes and create descriptions for them.

Without extensive viewing of the movie itself, might you inadvertently choose to have the characters act/react differently than they did on film? How do you feel about this, personally, as far as the fans go? Especially since this is a movie which will be bought and viewed at home (where a body can pause to catch every little nuance). The more I think about this, the more complex it appears. On one hand, I think it's essential that you have some room for creativity- on the other, I know that I am pretty fussy when it comes to movies made from books that change a great deal of the storyline. Why should I feel differently when we're talking about the reverse situation?

Group: Your thoughts on this? How bothered are you, if at all, when a movie strays from the storyline of a favorite book?
Stephanie
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JamesRollins
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

Stephanie asks "How bothered are you, if at all, when a movie strays from the storyline of a favorite book?"

I think (with rare exceptions) that a novel is usually better than the movie. It's richer, more nuanced, more detailed. It's rare that a movie follows the original novel material well. I think the Harry Potter movies do a decent job of this. Same goes for the Lord of the Rings movies. That said, I still found READING both series to be a much more enjoyable and satisfying experience.

As for straying from a novel, movie-making is a different art. It's all visual. It has to be on the screen (unless you cheat with voice-overs). So sometimes it's probably quite necessary TO stray from the original material to convey the essence of a particular novel's scene on film or to jump-cut to another part of the novel for the sake of brevity.

A question I always get asked: If there was a movie made from one of your books, would you want to write the screenplay? My answer: probably not. When I write a novel, I have a particular storyline in mind. To me, the completed novel is the way that story works best for me. I'd have a difficult time paring it down and converting it to film. Film making is its own art: from screenplay to finished product. If someone wants to film one of the books, I'd hate to cramp their style by dictating how they work their own artistry. That's their specialty, not mine. I'd love to see how they interpret the work into film (though I might have to watch with my hands over my eyes and peeking through my fingers).

Jim


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Stephanie
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

Jim,

I agree, although I've never met a movie that equaled its book. Not even To Kill a Mockingbird, which I felt represented Harper Lee's work very well. I think there are huge blanks in the Harry Potter movies, but I still love them, even though I also think Chris Columbus was the best of the directors by far. I have no idea why they chose to make the latest movie so short- a mere two hours for such a huge book- people would have happily sat through three hours or more, and they could have stuck in an intermission (remember those?) and the movie houses could then sell more popcorn.

As to the whole idea of making movies from books- mainly, it's making our kids lazier than ever. The view is: why read the book when I can just watch the movie? My children saw Bridge to Terabithia at a friend's house, and now neither wants to read the book, and my kids are readers! They beg me to take them to the Barnes & Noble down the street. [sighing] When the story changes (as they have changed every one of Grisham's endings!) too much, I'm annoyed. Adding visuals isn't a problem, nor is having a little creative license regarding how characters look. Sometimes the best actress for the job doesn't fit the description, but if the description is important (Umbridge) then it matters. Sometimes I get crabby about it and think, if movies are so great, why can't the people who make them think up their own stories? :smileyhappy:

Gee, I got a little long-winded on the subject, didn't I?
Stephanie
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Carrie
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book



Stephanie wrote:
Jim,

Interesting! I assumed along with the screenplay, you would have the movie itself in hand for viewing, to help you to visualize scenes and create descriptions for them.

Without extensive viewing of the movie itself, might you inadvertently choose to have the characters act/react differently than they did on film? How do you feel about this, personally, as far as the fans go? Especially since this is a movie which will be bought and viewed at home (where a body can pause to catch every little nuance). The more I think about this, the more complex it appears. On one hand, I think it's essential that you have some room for creativity- on the other, I know that I am pretty fussy when it comes to movies made from books that change a great deal of the storyline. Why should I feel differently when we're talking about the reverse situation?

Group: Your thoughts on this? How bothered are you, if at all, when a movie strays from the storyline of a favorite book?




I hate it when movies stray from the book!! I actually wouldn't see Lord of the Rings because I was sure it could not equal up to what I had imagined Middle Earth to look like. Once I finally broke down & saw it, I was pleasantly surprised even though a good deal of the ending of Return of The King was omitted in the movie. I also know what you are talking about with kids & movies from books. One of my all time favorite books as a kid was Where the Red Fern Grows, there have been several movie versions & none have equaled the novel. My daughters have seen the most recent version with Dave Matthews playing the dad, & now don't want to read the book (O.K., maybe the fact that I refuse to read it TO them because I bawl like a baby when Big Dan & Little Ann die has something to do with it!LOL). This has really made our kids lazy, why waste time reading it? It will be a movie soon!!
"I cannot live without books."- Thomas Jefferson
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JamesRollins
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

Anything that can get a child to read is a great thing. (climbing on my soapbox)

With so many distractions in life (ie., MySpace, Television, current drunken teen idols, Movies), it's becoming harder and harder to get kids to read. Yet, reading is such a different experience. It's not just a movie running in your head. It's life in ink and paper. Children that read regularly score higher, achieve more, and have less psychiatric/behavioral problems. What other pastime can claim that?!?

Now Harry Potter has stimulated lots of kids to read, but I read a rather disturbing article. It seems that when the first books came out, kids were reading them...AND going out and continuing to read. But since the movies started to come out. Kids are still reading the books....but LESS are continuing to read. It's as if the movies have tainted the experience for kids. Strange.

So anyone want to give tips to get kids to read. I'll start with my own. I think to get kids to read is a matter of "teaching by example" rather than forcing it. If parents read regularly, the chances their children will be readers is staggeringly significant. So we can't totally blame the kids for disinterest if our entire adult culture isn't reading. I read a statistic just this week that only 25% (and it may be lower...I tried to find the article, but I can't dig it up) of adults have read a single book in the past year. Yikes. So we can't just blame the kids.

And to repeat: Children that read regularly score higher, achieve more, and have less psychiatric/behavioral problems.

Plus I get more future readers! (grin)

Chime in!

Jim


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vivico1
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book


JamesRollins wrote:
Anything that can get a child to read is a great thing. (climbing on my soapbox)


So anyone want to give tips to get kids to read. I'll start with my own. I think to get kids to read is a matter of "teaching by example" rather than forcing it. If parents read regularly, the chances their children will be readers is staggeringly significant. So we can't totally blame the kids for disinterest if our entire adult culture isn't reading. I read a statistic just this week that only 25% (and it may be lower...I tried to find the article, but I can't dig it up) of adults have read a single book in the past year. Yikes. So we can't just blame the kids.

And to repeat: Children that read regularly score higher, achieve more, and have less psychiatric/behavioral problems.

Plus I get more future readers! (grin)

Chime in!

Jim


I agree, lead by example, read in your home, besides you might expand your own mind! Also read TO children, from a very very young age and with enthusiasm! Kids who are read TO, tend to want to read themselves and they also love to then read to you. LET THEM, its good for them and also helps with their vocabulary skills too. They love it if you start when babies, because as they grow, it also becomes their "one on one" time with you. I know from nieces and nephews and kids around me and studies too. Also, I fostered a 13 year old girl for six months a few years ago with really bad emotional problems and behavioral problems too. She had been in so many group homes too that she didnt have much experience with public school and had to be tested to see if she could go into 7th grade as she and all her workers thought she could from her reports from workers in the group homes. She had ribbons for reading and stuff, so should be no problem with her being in the grade she should. I knew when she came, that wasnt so but the worst thing I think you can do to a kid, is not let them try, no matter what, let them try, dont tell them they cant, if they cant, tell them they at least tried and always should try their dreams. She was tested, had a panic attack because she couldnt understand anything and was crying. They wanted to test her for 6th then to see what help she needed. She came running out in the hall where the school counselor and I were and was crying and saying, just put me in 5TH!! I dont know that stuff, I DONT KNOW IT! When we got her to breath again, we told her it was ok, what she had done in the sixth grade one and what she didnt know, was things that showed, that thats where she needed to be and that if she had known it all, then she wouldnt need to be in there. That is was alright, that those were the things she was going to learn, just like everyone else. That made her feel much better.

BAck to the reading, she and I had a lot of problems getting her to do her homework and she hated reading her lessons, she could barely read. What would take her only 15 minutes to do, if she had read the lesson, took us three hours each afternoon, because I would help her, but I wouldnt give her the answers. I said I will help you learn to learn but I wont do your work for you. Turns out, the reason she had the ribbons from the group homes was that she would pull these tantrums when she didnt want to do it or couldnt and they couldnt spend 3 hours with her on one lesson, so they would give in and tell her the answers. Anyway,with all these problems and her not wanting to do homework, there was one ritual we set up right off the bat that she would come remind me of if it was getting late. At 13, this girl would get this one book we were reading together and run and jump on my bed. We would prop up on big pillows and lean back and take turns reading. She loved this time together more than anything we did. She could read without being graded and also something that was very challenging and she figured the other kids at school werent reading for fun. You wont believe what it was. It was the scriptures! I kid you not! and not the easy to read things of today. It was the King James version of the bible and we would read some of the parts that were whole stories, like David and Goliath, the baby Moses, stuff like that. She stumbled and thought they talked funny and we had to discuss some verse by verse but it intrigued her to figure out what they meant, and what the story was. It was hard at first but its amazing how fast she was getting it and we did that every single night. In only two months, I went to a PTA meeting to talk to her teachers and they asked me what we were doing at home. That she had picked up her reading immensely and had stopped coming to them for everything or one teacher said, she tried to get me to tell her everything at first but now she will come up and ask me something and when I ask her know what she thinks, as she is looking at the book, she says, wait, dont tell me, I think I got this one. Talk about READING IS FUNDAMENTAL! And I learned one thing, if a kid can read the scriptures, they can read just about anything LOL!! Still amazes me that that is what we read. I understand the special time together, but what an interesting and wonderful thing for a 13 year old girl to want to read, the bible.

And you thought you were on a soapbox Jim LOL. I am not saying everyone read the bible if that idea just gags you. If it did her, she wouldnt have come to me each night with it. I am saying read with your kids as early as possible and for as long as possible, whether it is Dick and Jane at age 13, or Origins of the Species LOL, READ TOGETHER.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Jennie
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

"And to repeat: Children that read regularly score higher, achieve more, and have less psychiatric/behavioral problems. Plus I get more future readers! (grin)
Jim"


I have to agree with Jim on this. I teach at a high school that has the highest scores in the state on our mandated testing in Reading, Writing and Math. Reading scores averaged 98%! I am convinced that this is largely due to our rigorous reading program in our English classes and across the curriculum.
I am an elective teacher but I always tell my students that they need to bring a book to read so that they have something to do if they finish my work early. The students who score the highest in my classes are, invariably, the ones who bring a book with them. When I see them reading I try to make time to find out what it is and chat about it with them. Being an avid reader myself I enjoy talking with them about what they read. They are still reading 1984! I remember reading that in the 60's when it was still way in the future. These kids are rarely the ones who get into trouble as well.
My children are both readers as time allows. Both have busy careers but can most often be found with their noses in a book when they have free time. I read to them as children every day from the time they were babies, sometimes just reading what I was reading, out loud. My son in a natural reader, my daughter had to learn to enjoy it. Heredity does play a factor but it obviously can be over come. Both of them are avid JAMES ROLLINS fans. (Not like they had a choice in the matter! Ha)
Jennie B
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JamesRollins
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

Vivian, that's an incredible (and inspiring) story. Again just goes to show the power of reading...and being read to! Along with spending time with a child. Which brings me to another soapbox sort of gripe. I think children crave that interaction, that special bit of quality time in their lives, between parent and child. More and more, television has become our children's nannies, babysitters, and foster parents. And as much as I love a good television show (believe me...my TIVO is always full), it's not life. It's not the same as human interaction. It's a sedentary, non-cerebral (for the most part) experience. And I think reading is a good way to bring parents and kids together. It sure has with the Harry Potter books.

And Jennie, I think the same applies to you taking the time to talk to your students who are reading. It encourages and supports. There's real interaction at a level that is healthy and helpful to a child.

Thanks and congratulations to the both of you!

Jim


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Stephanie
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

Believe it or not, even kids of avid readers aren't reading- even my own children, who rarely see me without a book (or asking them if they know where I've put it down) spend 1/3 as much time as I did at their age reading, and they read significantly more than their friends do. When I was in 6th grade I was devouring 3-4 books per week. My son reads about one book per week.

I think the biggest aid in getting kids to read is to turn off the television set and limit computer and video time. Unfortunately, if left to their own devices, kids will choose those over books - and I think the reason is the stimulation - they aren't used to the quiet.
Stephanie
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Carrie
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book



Stephanie wrote:
Believe it or not, even kids of avid readers aren't reading- even my own children, who rarely see me without a book (or asking them if they know where I've put it down) spend 1/3 as much time as I did at their age reading, and they read significantly more than their friends do. When I was in 6th grade I was devouring 3-4 books per week. My son reads about one book per week.

I think the biggest aid in getting kids to read is to turn off the television set and limit computer and video time. Unfortunately, if left to their own devices, kids will choose those over books - and I think the reason is the stimulation - they aren't used to the quiet.



I totally agree Stephanie! I always have a book that I am reading & my kids would rather play their nintendo then read. I think you are absolutely correct in saying the only thing to do is limit time on the computer etc & set aside "reading time" each day. I've read to my kids since they were babies nightly, it's kind of our special time & they still enjoy it even though they are now 7, 8 & 11. My oldest daughter is dyslexic & was unable to read until 3rd grade, she now can read but it is still a struggle. Because of this, reading is a chore not something to enjoy. I can only hope that with time it will get easier for her, she will miss out on such a wide world if she doesn't read books.
"I cannot live without books."- Thomas Jefferson
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suetu
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Re: How I Came to Write This Book

I'm one of those adults who is never without a book on her person. My fondest memory from early childhood was my mother taking my sister and I to the library weekly. When we were really young, she'd help us pick out books that she'd read to us. It was how she got to know the people we were, what interested us. As we got older, we'd choose our own books while she choose hers (and eventually, I'd just read hers, LOL), but we'd always have a conversation about the books we'd each chosen.

I am convinced that those library trips are the single best thing my mother ever did raising me, and have told her as much many times.

Incidentally, Carrie, I was misdiagnosed as dyslexic in grammar school. (I was actually dysgraphic--which is just like dyslexia, but affects only writing, not reading. My reading scores were through the roof, thanks to mom.) Anyway, I was very, very lucky and got specialized one-on-one help to learn to fix what was described as "a short circuit in my brain." By the time I was out of grammar school, I no longer needed one-on-one tutoring. I held my own in classes. Written language wasn't my strong suit all through my education (and I still only print instead of writing in cursive), but I definitely held my own and improved. And then as an adult I wound up working professionally as an editor. Once I was using my written language skills 60 hours a week, it was like exercising unused muscles. Now I know my skills are better than those of 95 percent of Americans and I write well enough to be paid for it.

And I mention the above to let you know that your daughter absolutely can overcome her dyslexia. Get her all the help she needs now while she's young. :smileyhappy:
Susan
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