author C.C.Cole's blog

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On the Book/Film Journey

"The Hunger Games" film poster

As new authors, we know the dream:  One day our book(s) will be discovered by a huge audience, critically-acclaimed, to be an underdog writer bursting into the big leagues with a major blockbuster film that takes already big sales into the halls of fame.  Our pen names are spoken in restaurants, parties, tweeted, and on other social sites by thousands we’ve never heard of.  Millions of copies sold in twelve languages, with controversial headlines to hype the curiosity.  Yes, we know the dream.

Instead of kicking the chair out from under new writers, why not embrace a dream for a change?  How does anyone accomplish anything without a dream or some point of focus?  Everyone starts at the beginning and the journey, not the destination, defines us.  Disagree?  Read back about what you find interesting about famous writers:  Ms. Rowling’s difficult beginnings as a single parent, Mr. King’s days as a teacher/unknown writer, Hemmingway’s life after he became famous.  The journey never ends. 

Moving on to the “Ultimate” dream of fiction writers having their work made into great films, only in speculation can we imagine what it must be like.  First, the big bucks!  OK, so money may take some of the “romanticism” out of writing, but most people I know prefer to have money than not.  Question is, once a writer makes the “big money,” what next?  Is it time for the permanent vacation home, or does one have to come up with the next big hit?  Thought so.  Following up a major hit cannot be easy.  But the publisher is certain you can do it, as a little advance is pushed in the right direction.  Even bad follow-ups sell at first.

How about the “Fame?”  The face of the writer on blogs, news, interviews, you name it, there’s your face!  Will you be recognized in a grocery store?  Will other famous people be inviting you on their talk shows?  What are you willing to tell others about your life?  Hey, the actors are expected to “sell” their privacy, come on Writer, how about you?  You’ve got fans and money; let’s see the love!

What about the film itself?  Do writers write the screenplays?  Sometimes.  Let’s say you’re allowed to do that.  Allowed?  Hey..wait..it’s my story!  A gentle reminder:  Unless you’re so rich you can fit the bill for your own blockbuster, you’re “allowed.”  Will you be allowed on the set?  Ask the director, and don’t waste their time.  Which actors?  Who exactly do you think you are, a David O. Selznick clone?  Dream on.  Movie rights?  Yes, writer, that means either the studio is given permission to use your story in the way seen fit or they pass for one they can use. 

Writers, whether we are known or unknown, we are part of this industry.  The higher we climb, the more money is involved and the more complex the entire situation gets.  Success is something to strive for and to be proud of once achieved.  But there’s responsibility as well, and the work of success I suspect part of the most difficult in the journey.


  1. I admit, I've dreamed about my novels being turned into movies, but I doubt it will ever happen. Partly because I write for adults and it seems they do this more for young adult books.

  2. Thanks for the comment..but hey, you never know. We may see you on the billboard next!