A Question on Quora

This week I’d like to share with you an answer I posted on Quora. If you like the answer and are a member, I’d appreciate it if you’d vote for it. Quora is an excellent Q&A site with a great number of experts on topics. I’m glad to be a part of it.

Now onto the answer, if you’re too lazy to click on the link:

While I will say that some novelists can be arrogant (just as some filmmakers certainly are), most of us want readers to enjoy what we’ve put forward. We’re proud of our work. When our work is made into a film, it’s a huge compliment. But some of the things that we write don’t translate well onto film and can only be expressed in the mind of the reader. When you read, you get to use your own stage/set, picture the characters without the hindrance of an actor’s appearance, and be swept away with some carefully crafted words.

Granted, if you’re too ignorant or lazy to read, go ahead and watch the movie adaptation of a novel. Ultimately, you’ll only get to scrape the surface and enjoy someone else’s interpretation of those words instead of diving in and immersing yourself into another world.

You may have a learning disability that prohibits you from enjoying a novel, however, so watching a movie may be the only way you can enjoy the interpretation of a printed work. Sadly enough, you may have to wait quite some time to get different versions of a tale.

One of the best adaptations of a novel, in my opinion, was the serialization of Stephen King’s The Stand. Even though it was made for TV, and cut out many details, it was great. However, it still wasn’t the same as the novel. That novel was amazing. I read it when I had the flu. My father gave it to me as a gift (he had a sick sense of humor which I’ve apparently inherited). Anyway, it’s one of my favorites, but the film itself and the novel are separate entities.

Something I like to do is actually see a film first, then read the novel. For me, it’s like going “behind the scenes” to find out what really happened, as if the author truly knows what happened, and all the extra details seem much more juicy and fun. If you haven’t done this, try it with the Harry Potter serials, if you like that genre. I had a blast doing it that way with the first three films and novels.

If the question’s intent was to insult writers/novelists by calling them arrogant, I would say that it failed (at least with me, because I was highly amused by the question). If, however, it was genuine, it’s a great one, because it asks for definitive analysis and thought as to why we enjoy the things we enjoy.