Wednesday, June 30

Ep III news

Hey there, SW fanfolk.

The other day, while I was waiting for my meds to kick in, I cruised by the forums at TF.N (The Force.Net, for those poor souls still not In the Know), and I discovered that some fans are wrestling with the question of whether to read my novelization of Ep III before seeing the film, or to wait until you've seen the film to read the book.

I am here to reassure you all that I am doing my best to ensure that it won't make any difference. The book won't have spoilers for the best stuff in the movie, and the movie won't have spoilers for the best stuff in the book.

I mean, we are talking about a modern cinematic Greek tragedy, here. Of course, I can't comment on the plot, but you already know (in broad outline) roughly how the story has to come out in order to lead into the OT (that's Original Trilogy, for those poor souls mentioned above).

But plot is mostly a side-issue; the greatness in the film is going to be the depth of GL's visual imagination, in showing us all the surfaces -- how everything looks from the outside, you might say. That's what film is good at: giving you the outside, and letting you imagine what's going on inside.

Books, on the other hand, are largely the opposite. At least, my book is going to be. I'm writing about what's going on inside the characters, and providing only enough description to let you imagine what everything looks like, you get it? My primary concern is not to put anything in the book which will detract from the film -- I'm trying to make sure that nothing that you'll read will make you say, "Hey, wait -- it didn't look like that in the movie," or, alternatively -- if you read the book first -- "Hey, wait, they didn't act like that in the book."

Cinematic scenes are, by necessity, shorthand. So what I'm doing is taking each and every scene in this script as the "core" of a scene for the novel -- as being the heart of what the scene is really about -- then giving the characters (and the readers) a little extra breathing space, to let the scene expand . . .

This is what I'm trying to say: I'm writing this book as a companion piece for the film, not a substitute in any way. I'm hoping to make the book supplement and complement the film, so that reading the book makes the film even more enjoyable, and seeing the film brings the novel even more to life.

So, to bring this full circle:

Don't worry about whether to read before you watch or watch before you read. Go with your gut. I'm doing my best to make sure you won't be disappointed either way.


3 comments:

djcati said...

God, I shouldn't have read that. Now I need to just avoid any and all book stores next April/May, because if I see the ep3 novel, I will remember this post and I will buy it.
but is that a bad thing...
damn you.

Mastadge said...

Back when Jurassic Park came out, my father wouldn't let me see it until I'd read the book.

The lesson took.

For me, if the movie's based on a book, or if the adaptation is actually that rather than a padding of the screenplay by some hack writer, the book comes first.

Bob said...

Hm. I was going to wait on the movie anyways. The book I buy because it says Matthew Woodring Stover on the cover.
But you already knew that, dincha.