Mine, Mine, Mine!

Thank you for that indulgence..

This idea for this post came to me last night when HBO was being annoying and not letting me finish watching Game of Thrones online. That part of the idea was actually an old idea I had when I encountered the same problem with True Blood.

I’ve got to stop watching TV.

Anyway, the ideas morphed into one and are presented to you as such:

How do authors feel about relinquishing their characters to TV and screenwriters?

For any of you who follow True Blood or Game of Thrones you will know that both series are based off Books (I respect Books so much that the word now warrants a capital letter), ie the Sookie Stackhouse novels and  A Song of Ice and Fire. I had never heard of the Books before I watched either of the shows, and now I own both (I’m half way through the first Sookie and have just purchased Ice and Fire  the other day). What I realized is that, though the central plot contains the same skeleton factors, there is so much that is completely off track. Since I’m not finished with the book I have not seen Tara (Sookie’s best friend) and at this point having her show up would be stupid. No one give me any spoilers but I’m wondering if Tara even deserves to make an appearance. Did HBO invent her? Did Harris want her? I’m confused.

And it made me wonder, what does Charlaine Harris think about all this? She is an author just like you and I. She poured over her characters for hours. She loves them. She planned out the plot and researched Southern life to make her story and setting leap off the page. How does she feel when producers take her babies and run in directions she did not want to go? HBO owns all the development rights for anything related to Sookie. Um… WHAT? How does she stand it?

I’m sure she loves the publicity and the royalties she’s cashing in from the books and the show, but what does she really feel inside? What does she think that she can’t tell the presses? I don’t know about you, but if and when I ever get published and if my book is considered for TV/the movies, you can bet your ass I’m enlisting every lawyer I know to help me draw up a contract that won’t let the producers and writers kill the Laura and Thomas I know and love,  altering them into people I won’t even recognize anymore. I think I would rather retain the rights and forgo the movie than have them change too much. The point of writing them is to tell their story, my story. If my story won’t be told, then what’s the point?

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About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at http://missrosemary.net or contact her at MissRosemarysNovelIdeas@gmail.com with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

9 responses to “Mine, Mine, Mine!

  • Kim

    the song of ice and fire has nearly the same plot as the show.
    Let us know what you think!

  • Kristen

    I used to watch Vampire Diaries (I’m not ashamed. They’re hot.) and I read at one point that the writers for the TV series deviated as far from the Books as to have one of the main characters changed into a Vampire to keep the series more interesting. If you think about it, every episode needs a ‘hook’, something needs to happen to really launch the plot along. In books you sometimes have a chapter where normal stuff happens (I think Outlander has several where, for a change, Jamie and Claire just get to chill at home). You can’t have an episode like that. So the writers of VD took a character that is always human in the books and had her dramatically changed. I think you can imagine how much that must change the plot. So I would imagine that it must be hard to watch your series turn into something completely different.

  • Maimoona Rahman

    I would be absof*ckinglutely furious. Silver screen adaptations often annoy me by detracting from the book.

    By the way, I just noticed that you graduated summa cum laude in three years. Congratulations.

  • Chelsea Ady

    You know, I never really thought about how much liberty someone else could have over your own characters. That would SUCK! I can’t imagine if anyone tried to alter my characters – I have enough problems with constructive criticism! They are created from moments and people in my life, and that is something sacred that NO ONE should be able to alter, apart from the author. Dang! There goes my dreams of the big screen! Keep on writing – I love reading your posts and work! : )

  • That Fond Impossibility

    I know that George R. R. Martin is heavily consulted for the Game of Thrones. In fact, I think he does some of the scriptwriting. He has a lot of screenwriting experience. And he recently blogged that he had finished writing a scene that you will read about in book 2 (I think – can’t keep track).

  • rastelly

    Often while tv and movie companies are allowed to have their way with your work. They often don’t care if you continue to feed your old fan base the old
    and true. I guess it depends on the contract you sign. If someone wanted to
    pay me for the rights to my work – I’de say, ok – but here is the deal, you go
    your way, I go mine – we share the rights and names – your version is your
    version – but know that I am still in control of my version. You can make the
    quiet loner fall in love with the girl – but over here I can out him as gay.
    Good walls make good neighbors.

    Your tale – TV’s tale, apples and oranges.

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