Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why So Many Movies?

I've been asked on occasion why I reference movies so often if this is a blog about writing.  "Doesn't writing mean books?" they'll ask.  I understand the confusion.  However, I reference movies so often because the stories I write are movies in my head.

I grew up a child of television and cinema.  My parents made me go outside, but I'd often find a friend's house, and we'd watch all the movie channels my parents never had(until after I moved out of the house).  I immersed myself in the raucous adventures of faraway lands.  As I got older and found a love of reading, I discovered a new way to play movies in my head through the pages of a book.

All of my stories start as movies in my head.  I see the action and dialogue, and I try to jot it down.  Sometimes I can describe the story better than others, but it's still just a matter of transcription.

Good movies are hard to find these days.  Not only does Hollywood seem intent on retelling the same stories, but they're getting terrible at doing it.  Therefore, when I find a gem, I return to it over and over.  Movies and TV aren't the only venue I do this with - I re-read the books I love again and again as well.  Since I'm a fan of good storytelling in any form, I have no problem talking about those stories whether they come in print form or through a visual medium.

And let's face it - people are visual animals.  When we read a book, most of us aren't just absorbing the words; we're thinking about how those words translate to something we can see.  The reason for character description or depiction of action is so that we can visualize what's happening.  The words are a way for us to get from the page to our minds, so it's not confined to simple scratchings.

Since this is about storytelling rather than just the tangible product of Guttenberg's invention, I'll continue to reference any good story, regardless of format.  After all, the best among us can take from one format and translate it into another.  Isn't that what storytelling is all about?

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