mental health, book reviews, medical, writer, writing tips, author, author interviews
It's an age-old question that has broken friendships, torn apart families, and destroyed societies!
Okay, so that might be a bit hyperbolic, but still, if you want to start an argument, tell a Harry Potter books purist how much better the movies were to the books! Just be ready for a wand duel if you do!
But who is right? Is anyone right? Or are both sides of the argument wrong?
To determine which is better, one needs to understand the history of books and movies.
Back in the day, and I mean WAY back in the day before people created the alphabet or any other form of writing, oral tradition was the only tradition. Stories and histories were memorized and recited to younger generations. This method was a surprisingly accurate and efficient way to recall history, and oral traditions survived over hundreds and even thousands of years. All that changed, however, when people started writing their stories down. Now the original storyteller could have their words preserved and spoken to later generations, and no one had to wonder if they were telling the story wrong.
The next great change came from the Gutenberg Press. This combined the written word with mass production. Now, not only the elite of society, who could pay for the transcription of older texts, would receive the written histories, but the common folk could get their hands on these writings as well.
But nothing prepared man for the invention of video.
Now, instead of just reading words and imagining speakers, people can watch events occur on a visual plane. Of course, this all exploded when social media came on the scene. Instantaneous recording and distribution of events has changed the world forever. If a picture is worth a thousand words than a video is worth a million.
But I write fiction, so what does that have to do with the books I write? Don't people like the book versions of classic stories better than the movie adaptations?
Most people probably do like the book versions better, but let's explore why that might be. Books take a long time to read. Sometimes, getting through a book can take weeks and maybe even months. While in the pages you are walking hand-in-hand with your favorite characters, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, getting a glimpse at what they think. In other words, you are bonding with these characters.
Then a movie rolls on by showing actors that are different than your imaginative avatars. The storyline, which was so careful crafted by the author, seems to have been chucked out the window by the screenwriters. Why would they do this? Didn't they have excellent source material at their fingertips?
But this reaction fails to recognize the limitations of movies, namely as it relates to time. The screenwriter has to squeeze ten hours worth of time into two. They just cannot recreate the quantity of time a reader spends with their favorite characters in a story meant for the silver screen.
So, which is better?
When accuracy is required--like in the documentation of real and historical events--video is absolutely preferrable.
If, however, you want to bond with characters and really get to know them on a personal level, books may be the better alternative.
But if you're just looking to unwind, to stroll with these characters rather than hike, then watching a movie might be your best solution. There is nothing wrong with either option.
RW Hague is a registered nurse with over eight years of experience within the medical field. Using her medical expertise, she writes stories that are gritty and compelling.