I GUESS IT is impossible. Isn’t it? The perfect story?
I’m referring to books. But you know the first thing that popped into my head? – Goodfellas. Martin Scorcese will never top that for pure story telling, characters, dialogue and pacing. Possibly the greatest film ever made. When I think of the perfect book, I’m struggling a little. George Orwell’s, 1984, is still the most impactful book I’ve ever read. The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling are magical, untouchable children’s stories.
Books cannot deliver the same visual visceral experience that film can however. You imagine: you don’t see. You read: you don’t watch (passively). As film uses more of our senses, it has an unfair advantage over the novel. So writers really have to slam it into a mythical seventh gear to convey the story, the characters, the plot, the suspense, the dialogue, the twists and every other fine aspect, in order to tell a compelling story that will be remembered always. In many ways the novel is constricted. Continuing the film analogy, what you see in one frame might take pages to convey in a book, maybe even chapters.
To be honest, movie makers are cheating. They have your eyes captive and can embellish the story simultaneously with music, mis en scene (posh talk for the setting), and any number of flourishes from the colour of someones clothing to the look in an actors eyes. One scene can tell us A LOT. The humble author has to do that through words only. It’s like painting a picture with one colour, yet somehow making that picture colourful, unique and remarkable.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z < That, is all a writer has to work with: 26 letters. Pretty incredible. I didn’t mean to turn this post into a Writers .VS. Film Makers match up. But then again, people forget: what’s a film without a script?
Character. Plot. Suspense. Readability. Dialogue. Realism/ Fantasy. Twists. Drama. What makes up your perfect story? Have you read one? Is there one?