When I came across today's date in history, one item jumped out at me. Bela Lugosi was born today in 1882. Most are familiar with the name. He, of course, made the name and look of Dracula iconic. It got me to thinking.
I bet if you asked, more people would be familiar with Dracula in movie or tv format than in literary format. Many have probably seen at least one version of Dracula, but how many have actually read the book? I have to admit to never having read Bram Stoker's classic story, but I've seen several movie versions.
Taking it one step further...what about Gone With the Wind? Are more people familiar with the movie version or with the book? Both are lengthy, sweeping sagas.
The movie clocks in at nearly four hours.The book is over a thousand pages long. In this case, I've covered both bases, although I can't remember which came first. Did I read first or watch first? I really can't remember. I've seen the movie multiple times, but have only read the book once. When I think of Rhett Butler, Clark Gable instantly comes to mind.
Modern stories aren't exempt either. Will future generations only know Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga through the pop-culture phenomenon of its silver screen counterparts?
Is it the literature that stand the test of time...or is it the larger-than-life Hollywood version?
When a story becomes so iconic in movie form, does it take away something from its literature form? Do many people bypass the written word and go for the visual version of story-telling? Especially in today's tech-savy world, it seems like the written word is closer than ever to becoming obsolete.
As authors, what can we do to keep that interest alive? How do we draw people in so they can experience and enjoy the stories we create? How do we adapt? Do we make stories shorter to go along with people's decreasing attention spans and the desire for instant gratification? My last three books have been shorter novellas, and just going by the numbers, they've outsold my full-length novels by far.
It's a changing world we live in...it's not always easy to keep up.
Until next time,