Was the book better?

Usually I don’t pass judgement on movies based on books. For example, Lord of the Rings may not have been an awesome adaptation, but that’s partly what made it an awesome movie series. I mean, as much as I lament the change to Faramir’s characterization, the ending of Two Towers wouldn’t have been very suspenseful if he hadn’t gone ring-crazy and dragged Frodo and Sam through a war zone. (In the book, they all just hung out in his secret waterfall base for a while. Before the hobbits leave, Faramir reassures them that he wouldn’t even try to take the ring if it was the only way to save Gondor.)

Here are a few exceptions off the top of my head…

The book was better

Eragon had it’s moments as a movie, but the book was so much richer and more detailed.

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite books growing up. Especially with all the hype that’s surrounding the prequel, I encourage people to check out the original book. Did you know that the events in the movie only cover the first half of the book? Glinda doesn’t just show up after the wizard flies off in the balloon. Dorothy and her friends have to journey to her realm before she can reveal the secret of the ruby slippers.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was an awesome movie that tried to be just as awesome as the book, but failed.

(Speaking of Hitchiker’s Guide movie, anybody recognize Arthur Dent?

The movie was better

Speaking of Martin Freeman, I’m going to risk offending literature fans by admitting I’d rather watch an episode of BBC’s Sherlock than read one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories.

V for Vendetta. No offense to Alan Moore, but the movie left out the slow parts and boiled the original graphic novel down to all the good stuff.

Extra: There was a book?

In most cases, if a movie is based on a book, I have at least a casual interest in reading the book first. Or soon after seeing the movie. Or someday!

Because of this, I’ve noticed a lot of movies that were surprisingly based on books. “Day the Earth Stood Still” for example.  Sure the 2008 movie was based on the 1951 movie…but the 1951 movie was based on a short story called Farewell to the Master. (I liked the 1951 movie the best out of all of them.) Other movies based (or inspired) by books: Meet the Robinsons, How to Train your Dragon, and does anybody else remember The Last Mimzy?

Extra 2: There wasn’t a book?

Not all movies were inspired by the book they’re marketed with.

After years of being disgruntled with an I, Robot that didn’t seem to care much for the original collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov, I realized it started as an original screenplay called Hardwired, and not too many changes were made after they got the rights to call it I, Robot.  And of course it languished in development until Hollywood found something popular to market it with. I guess it all turned out better than their original plan, which was to edit it beyond recognition with an action plot and space marines.


So when was the book better, and when was the movie better? And when were they both equally good according to each unique art form?

My top 3 links for writer’s resources

A brainstorming tool, a name generator, and a blog filled with useful articles. (No particular order of preference)

1. Telescopic Text

I was moved to write today’s post when this site helped me dramatically revitalize my artist statement a few hours ago. The link opens in a new tab, but I’m happy to describe the site if you’d rather stay here.

The site is very minimalistic. The most prominent feature on the mostly blank page is a simple sentence. “I made tea.” But each word is highlighted in light gray. Clicking on highlighted words will expand them into more words, some of which may also be highlighted. “I made a cup of tea.”  A few clicks later: “Yawning, I made myself a nice cup of strong tea.” When there are no more clickable words, the page will be covered in words.

At the bottom right corner is a link to make your own telescopic text. Type a sentence. Click on a word.  Type the text that it will expand to. Click on another word.

My artist statement makeover

When I first found Telescopic Text, I played with the tea story, bookmarked the site, and forgot about it…until I realized how much it could help me with my artist statement.

I arrived with two things: My tagline and my old artist statement. My tagline, “Fantasy-inspired art jewelry”, is pretty solid, but my artist statement was a scattered, disjointed collection of an otherwise decent way to describe my artistic vision and mission statement.

I typed “fantasy inspired art jewelry” into Telescopic Text and expanded it phrase by phrase, using all the material from my scattered artist statement. Once all the pieces had been put back together, I went from this:

Using wire and small objects, I give form to 
imagination and daydreams. I express the beauty 
of spontaneity. I find magic and awe in 
everyday objects and scenes…
and then I highlight it.

I’m inspired by magic and high-fantasy.
I like calm, analogous color schemes and
twisting, spiralling lines.

…to this!

Magic and high fantasy inspire me to find 
beauty and awe in everyday objects and scenes.
Capturing that wonder, 
strengthening it, 
and adding chaos and spontaneity, I create 
abstract art jewelry, hoping to inspire you 
toward imagination and reverie.

2. Fantasy Name Generator

The basic generator lets you pick typical options such as “short”, “long”, “vowel-heavy”, but the advanced generator not only shares how it generates such specific names, but invites you to customize your own.

It’s a little confusing at first, but if you have the time to figure it out, it will quite possibly become your most useful name generator for getting the perfect name from very specific instructions.


Let’s see… how about a name beginning with “Lo” that starts out soft, but ends on a harsh or abrupt syllable.

So I type  “(Lo)VcVC” which is composed of:

-Letters in parentheses, which will stayconstant
-V stands for a random vowel or vowel combination
-Lowercase c stands for just one random consonant
-(Another random vowel or vowel combination)
-Uppercase C stands for a random consonant or combination.

Then I browse through the results, looking for particularly abrupt ending consonants. Out of over 100 names on the page, only three look really good:


I discard “Lousit” because it sounds like “lose it” and refresh the page a few times to get hundreds more results.

Loeeyiac (Interesting, but how do you even pronounce that?)
Loanit (Nope, sounds like I just smushed “Loan it” together and tried to pass it off as a name.)

I like the last one. Also Loerok or Loedoc from the first round.


3. Superhero Nation

Novels and comics about superheros aren’t my artistic calling, even if I wanted to be a writer or comic artist, but when I first found this website, I couldn’t stop reading it! The advice and tips are so helpful and well-reasoned, that they can apply to any kind of writing. Even artist statements! (My decision to use the word “you” instead of “people” in my new artist statement came from a guest post I browsed while stopping by for the link.)

Unlike a lot of blogs, they have a nice big list of their favorite/most useful posts on the left sidebar.

I really want to go into more detail and list a few of their most awesome posts, but there’s so much good material there, I’d barely be scratching the surface.


Did you explore any of the sites? Share your telescoped text, generated names, and writing breakthroughs in the comments.