Figures are in. HUNGER GAMES leapt from the page to the stage and grossed $19.7 million at the midnight premiere. Suzanne Collin’s story of the spunky underdog who takes on the elite class stirs opinions. One of the biggest debates is: which is better … book or movie?
I posted this question on Facebook and the responses are varied:
*Movie was good, but book was better. So many layers of meaning missed in movie.
*Really enjoyed the movie, but loved the book more! Working on 2nd book.
*The dress on fire was awesome!
*You have to accept them each for what they are. Book was better, IMO, but the movie did what it was supposed to do.
What was it about this transition from page to stage that caused people to react so strongly? I think it is because those of us who read the book first had already formed very strong visual impressions in our minds. We fashioned our own Katniss. We assigned physical characteristics to Peeta based on his kindness. And we formed mental images of the settings: District 12, the Capitol City, and the arena.
What did I learn? When an author manipulates two-dimensional words until they evoke three-dimensional characters and worlds…that’s powerful stuff. Even if you don’t read science fiction, if you’re a writer you should study this book for craft.
I think the movie makers had their work cut out for them on this one. For the most part, they did an excellent job of capturing bits and pieces of the imaginary world that I’d already constructed. Hopefully, they’ll catch a piece or two of yours.
May the odds be in your favor as you strive to write such compelling characters that readers will cast them in their own minds.