"It'd Make a Great Movie" = "I Have Unrealistic Expectations"

This has been bugging me for a while. I see it happen a lot. An author will be interviewed on a book blog or review site, and the author will say, "...And I think my novel would make a terrific movie or television show."

A lot of authors might feel this way. That's fine. But don't put it out there. They may as well say, "...And I have unrealistic expectations" or "...And I think my novel would make a terrific plaque to put up on the moon."

Movies shouldn't even be on your radar. You need to develop a following through your writing. That's how novels are converted to the screen. If they're going to happen, they'll happen. But until then, you need to stop being preoccupied with something that very likely will never happen.

You make novels, not movies. You don't see a lot of directors out there saying how their movies would make great novels.

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Ah. I didn't see the movie, though I did read the book. A very saleable topic in the U.S.
Here's what Robert Crais says about making a movie out of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike: "Maybe I’m just stubborn, but I’ve been saying no for twenty years, so I still own the rights to Elvis and Joe, and owning those rights makes me happy. You ask why I would ignore such a “huge” promotion as if some kind of Dennis Lehane-like promotion was automatic—it isn’t, and the odds against it approach certainty. Ask Larry Block how much Burgler promoted his books, or if Blood Work sold the ass off Mike’s back list, or, hey, ask that guy who wrote Hostage if the film sold a ton of his books. It didn’t. Listen, maybe one day I’ll change my mind—none of us know what the future will bring—but I’ve had plenty of ‘real world’ experiences with Hollywood, and none of them have left me anxious for more."
That was John D. MacDonald's attitude after he saw the poor job film makers did bringing his Travis McGee character to the screen. I could be wrong, but I recall hearing that his will expressly forbade that from ever happening again.
Thanks, Jude! Another myth demolished. (The responses to that post at that link you shared are a howl!)
The mature Leo D. might actually make a decent Trav' (if he gets himself in great shape). "The Deep Blue Good-by" is one of my favorites. Junior Allen is one of MacD's best sociopath villains.

It's too bad.  I would love to see an Elvis Cole movie...with Stallone as Joe Pike....yeah, I said it.


Stuart Davis

Five-A-Week Fiction

I agree. I think if you want your idea to be a movie, go that route. If you're writing a book, write a book!

You can tell, no matter how good a writer an author is, if they're secretly harboring aspirations (not wishing but wanting) for their book to be made into a movie, they leave things out. Little things, maybe, but important things that make a book... Hm. Books are intimate. In ways film can never be because you watch film, you view it, whereas you become what you're reading.

I'm all for books being made into movies, but they should be books first.

Okay, maybe someone someday will stumble upon my suspense thriller, ABSOLUTION, maybe they'll see my

ABSOLUTION video trailer think it's so thrilling and come calling.


I didn't write it with the idea it might become a movie, but I will say that while writing, it helps a lot to visualize the scenes in your mind, and when thinking of characters, it often helps to think about an actor that he/she might resemble and throw in some quirks to differentiate therefrom.

It's hard work writing a novel. We need all the help we can get. Why not visualize it as a movie?



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