My favorite book is Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (please, no judging). I mean, I LOVE this book. Of my list of five books I'd take with me to a deserted island, it sits at the top. I can't really say why, either. It certainly isn't the best book I've ever read or the most well written (and the last several books of that series get bogged down with the author's ideology which make them difficult to get through), but there's something about the story, the characters, and the way everything unfolds that I find myself rereading all 820 pages at least once a year.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered that there is now a television show based on that book. Like any fan, I sat down to watch the show, but was completely surprised by how different it was from what I was expecting. I wasn't expecting a Lord of the Rings quality adaptation and knew it would have a tone more along the lines of Xena or Hercules (which it does), so as a WFR fanboy, my expectations were pretty grounded. But as I watched through the episodes, I noticed that the show, the story, was, well, different.
This, of course, made sense. Things would have to be changed. Telling a story through nearly a thousand pages of text is different from telling it visually in 42 minute chunks. Some scenes would have to be abridged, if not outright cut, certain characters would have to be molded and shaped in a way to make them sympathetic much more quickly than what a writer can get away with in a novel, story structure would have to be more rigidly formatted for t.v. than the looser stylings of prose. All of this got me to wondering. How much does the medium within which a story is being told dictate the story itself? When the mediums change, does the story cease being one story and become another?
I don't know and I'm sure that's something that can be debated about in comments. But my point here isn't to find an answer to the question, but to think about story itself. Without walking too far into Plato's cave, I'm talking about the TRUE story, the one that's sitting in your head right now. What medium best serves THAT story? And be honest with yourself. Just because you want to write a stageplay doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best medium for the story.
Every medium has its pros and cons (I'm referring more toward the creative aspect of writing for a medium as opposed to working within a medium--different animals). As Sensei Waid has said numerous times before, comics is a visual medium. If your story isn't very visual, comics might not be the best medium for it. So it's a matter of finding which medium will work best for that story.
This may sound a little backwards since most writers probably find a story that best serves a medium rather than the other way around. But if you have a story gelling in your brain that you're struggling to tell the way you want to, it's possible that it's the medium that's the problem. Anway, food for thought.
So how 'bout it, fellow monkeys? What's your favorite adaptation of a story from one medium to another? Least favorite?