• Micro Nonfiction Challenge: Movie/TV Adaptations of Your Favorite Books

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 19 comments

    It’s time to kick the winter blahs right in the snowpants with a fun exercise and contest!


    The Contest

    In 150 words or fewer, write about a time you were pleasantly surprised by a film/TV adaptation of a favorite book, and/or a time you were disappointed by a film/TV adaptation of a favorite book. Or feel free to enter twice: once for favorite, once for least favorite.

    Write or paste your response(s) into the comments section below. Get your entry in by noon (Eastern) on Friday, March 1.

    Our favorite response will receive a free book of his/her choice from WriteByNight!


    The Impetus

    Many recent emails and blog comments indicate that many of us are currently struggling through the winter blahs, and having a difficult time finding the resolve to write.

    Isn’t February just the absolute pits?

    I can relate. Last winter I had the same problem, and wrote a post about it called “The Winter Writing Doldrums.” Some of you shared your own similar experiences, while others of you offered some helpful tips for fighting my way out of my creative lull. Take a peek at it if you’re in the same doldrums.

    Sometimes the best way to get yourself writing again is to work on an exercise that has nothing to do with your WIP. So that’s what we’re going to do this week: a writing contest disguised as an exercise!


    Why Movies?

    On this week’s episode of Yak Babies we talk about film and TV adaptations of books: when and why do they work, when and why do they fail, and examples of the good and the bad.

    (Which reminds me of a post we ran and had lots of fun with a few years ago titled “The Book Wasn’t Better.”)

    My unscientific conclusion, for what it’s worth, is that it’s often easier to turn genre fiction into an entertaining film than it is to do the same with literary fiction; our increasingly mind-blowing abilities with special effects makes for effective action on the screen, while literary fiction is typically far more internal, which can be hard to translate to the screen. I can name dozens of movies I found more entertaining than the genre books they were based on, while my list of movies that are better than the literary fiction novels they’re based on is very short.


    How Will I Choose a Winner?

    Effort, for one thing. The writing itself. Humor never, never, never hurts. Nor does it hurt to express an opinion I happen to share!

    I’ll also take the number of thumbs-ups into account. So if you really like someone else’s answer, and you’re a good sportsman/sportswoman, give him or her the ol’ up thumb, which you can find just below each comment.

    In other words, choosing the winner will be somewhat arbitrary. But the point is to get you writing, especially if writing anything at all is something you’re struggling with right now.

    So good luck, and happy writing!


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    Barbara Mealer

    I may not win a prize, but I have my best and worst adaptations. The best for me was: When the movie, Lord of the Rings, came out I was afraid to watch it for fear they had ruined the wonderful books. It ended up being one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen, following the descriptions of the people and creatures for the film. The movie adhered to the book and the events, leaving little out. It’s one of the few movies I will voluntarily watch again when it’s being shown. My favorite character is Gollum and I loved… Read more »

    david william lemke

    I have three obvious ones: I agree with Barbara, the Ring Trilogy, the Harry Potter series and the Di Vinci Code series. and Sue and I have read all 14(?) books. There are other’s that are great both in book and movie. Of these I’d pick the Maltase Falcon. One of my criteria was, of course that they were all hits. Another is that the movie held true to the book, which you get when you let the author in the studio and have a say. I don’t know if that was true of the Falcon. Another series I considered… Read more »

    david lemke

    I took Great Courses course on writing last year. Maltese Falcon was an example used which lead me to getting the Kindle book. If you wait until they have their 90% off sale you can get courses for $35 The movie feels like the book. I saw the movie years ago while the book was last year.


    Kenneth Harris

    Mario Puzo’s book “The Godfather” sold over 12,000 copies a day for two years after publication. For a reason; it resonates with everyone who wants to see their enemies in a casket. Which is to say, everyone. When Mario’s book was handed to movie makers a (very) rare thing happened; the movie was better than the book. F. F. Coppola transformed Puzo’s sumptuous prose into a cinematic triumph. Coppola satisfied for us-in Surroundsound Technicolor-that most primal of human urges; that our enemies pay dearly for their transgressions. When young Vito squeezed off a round in Fanucci’s mouth, we saw on… Read more »

    david william lemke

    Having never rear the book, I can’t comment on it, but the movie was great. 2 was not as good and 3 was disappointing.

    Lori Thatcher

    When “Dune” came out on film in 1984, fans of the book, which was deemed a foundational work in sci-fi, winced. Film critics gave it a solid “Thumbs Down.” As a teenager enthralled with science fiction, I had struggled to get into the novel. As much as the book had to offer: bleak and arid Arakis, young Paul Atredies enduring the Bene Geserett’s torture box—I even wrote down Paul’s litany against fear—it left me stalled amidst the political complexity and peculiar vernacular. I put the book aside. When the movie came out, I rushed to see if I could at… Read more »

    david william lemke

    I loved the movie, Dune. I loved the book first. Over the years I’ve been reading all the books including those by Brian and Kevin. Some say “They’re not Frank.” I don’t have a problem with that.

    Lori Thatcher

    Wow! Thank you.

    Lori Thatcher

    I would try the book first. But if it doesn’t sustain your interest, then, by all means, see the movie.

    Rachel Hamman

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit was my son’s favorite bedtime story. When the film, Peter Rabbit, came to theaters last year, my son (now 23) went to see it with me. It didn’t bother us that the film took artistic liberties with Peter Rabbit’s character. The addition of other human characters added a delightful twist to entertain adult audiences. The recently expired Mr. McGregor is replaced by Peter’s new enemy, Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) who inherited his great uncle’s property and is courting Peter’s mother-figure Bea (Rose Byrne). Knowing Peter was already quite creative, we could stretch our imaginations enough… Read more »

    Rose Long

    In one of many compelling plot twists of the 2018 movie version of Robin Hood, Miriam is caught stealing in the name of those being oppressed by the war effort. Robin Hood, the Lord of Loxley, captivated by her and her cause, allows her to take his horse. Robin is then drafted into the Crusades against Arabia. Embittered by the treachery of war, he sets a group of prisoners free. The treasonous act gets him sent home. On the ship, among the stowaways is (Little) John; together they construct a plan to end the war. Upon learning where the greatest… Read more »

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