Last week I wrote an article titled Animated Films and Television Shows Are Underappreciated in America. Writing this article got me thinking about other artistic mediums used to tell stories, specifically books. To me “books” include anything from poems, short stories, novels, magazine articles, blog posts, and any other form of written material that you can think of.
As I mentioned last week live action and animated films both have merits of their own, and I enjoy both quite frequently. That being said books, and writing in general has qualities which cause me to proclaim that I enjoy reading a good fantasy novel on a quite afternoon more than watching a good movie. Just sitting for a few peaceful hours following the adventures of a hobbit as he seeks to destroy the one ring in the fires of Mordor. Being amazed by the scenes unfolding in front of my mind’s eye, or saddened as tragedy strikes, and warmed heart and soul by moments of comradery.
There are some differences between written material, and films that I would point out that you may or may not be aware of. Firstly is the greater degree of freedom afforded the writer to further develop his characters and story. Secondly you have more relaxed time constraints that what a film is burdened with. Lastly the audience, or reader as the case may be, is more closely involved with the events and characters of the story.
A Greater Degree of Freedom
First of all is the greater degree of freedom afforded the writer to further develop his characters and story plot. That is when compared to television and movies of course. Which means he gets to go more in-depth with the physiological profile of each important character. This helps you learn how a character will react in certain situations, and why they act the way they do.
The author is also able to explore more fully the depths of the story and the world in which it takes place. He can give a more complete history of events so you as the reader fully understand why the world is in its current state(whatever that may be).
More Time to Wander
Secondly you have more relaxed time constraints then what a film or show is burdened with. Where a movie is usually about one to two hours in length, and a television show lasts between twenty to sixty minutes. It is true that most long novels are around 200 pages, but they can range anywhere from say 150 to 300 pages in length. I believe the length is determined by the content and progression of the story. This is unlike tv which is determined by the cable company, not the author.
I feel the fact that more work is required on your part when reading a novel is a good thing, because it makes the audience become more involved in the preceding tale. Being more involved in the story gives you a better idea of what the characters are experiencing, and how events be they good or bad affect them and those around them. This all in turn gives you a better experience, making you feel as if you are truly a part of what is happening, something greater than yourself.
As I mentioned last week live action and animated films have merits of their own.. That being said books, and writing in general has qualities which cause me to proclaim that I enjoy reading a good fantasy novel on a quite afternoon more than watching a good movie.
Above I have explained the reasons I feel this is so. To sum it up books by nature give an author more room to explore their stories, and the characters that inhabit them. The whole idea is for the audience to be as close to the characters, and as involved in the story as is possible.