Super Quick 5 Second Survey on Firestorms! Thanks #amwriting #YaLitChat

Personally I’m leaning towards both as a plot point. Choice A is a natural firestorm sweeping across the countryside that the students must face alone and harness their magic to defeat. Choice B is political intrigue brewing at the royal courts which leads to Maride facing execution for the murder of his fiancée.

Choice B wouldn’t be resolved until the second book. Choice A would be a great character-building exercise for Vedaris (dragon with no powers), Allorna (royal guardian trainee), Sitara (amnesiac storm-caller), Maride (researcher-cum-librarian) and Sidimo (glyph-reading healer) that would have an immediate resolution. It would also lead to a more immediate strengthening of their bond. If I had to choose just one it would be the firestorm – it’s more exciting to write about.

Also BIG NEWS! Yesterday I made it to 40,000 words!!! Hip, hip hooray for me. Now I’m expanding my original 55,000 WIP to 80,000. I honestly don’t think I can get all my plot points in with just 65K, which I did consider. But more on that later.

The 140-Character Twitter Elevator Pitch #WVTP

In one hour and with the help of four amazing crit partners (I love Twitter) my Writer’s Voice Twitter Pitch (practice pitch since I’m not actually in the Writer’s Voice contest) went from Version 1 to Version 5. Quite proud of it’s metamorphosis. No idea if I’m ever going to use this but it might make a nice Twitter bio.

Any comments on how to make my #WVTP better? Send them my way!

Version 1

A political storm is rising, his fiancee is dead & school has just begun. To stop his execution five friends must master their magic. #WVTP

Version 2

A crisis at court leaves Maride accused of murder. School has begun, his execution looms & five friends face the trials together. #WVTP

Version 3

His fiancée’s death leaves Maride accused of murder. School has begun, his execution looms & five friends face the trials together. #WVTP

Version 4

At the Madrassa four unlikely & untried allies forge a bond: A dragon, a healer, a storm-caller, a librarian and a guardian. #WVTP

Version 5

After a mysterious death, five unlikely allies forge a bond at a magical academy to save their kin from the fire storm that’s brewing. #WVTP

In version five *fire* is both literal and figural. There’s going to be an actual firestorm and there’s a political fire storm brewing. I think the vagueness gives it a sense of urgency.

Staying True To The Script: Book Deals That Spawn Television and Film Rights

Hollywood Producers and Development Executives have always taken a special interest in optioning film rights to books. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a script and idea already written. They just have to repackage the diamond-in-the-rough for a silver screen audience. The trick is identifying the book or series that will really be the next hit TV show or blockbuster movie. A great way they’ve done this? Option the Film Rights to books that are proven international bestsellers – think The Da Vinci Code, The Lord of the Rings, The Secret Life of Bees. Television rights can be just as lucrative for Hollywood – including The Secret Circle, Sex and the City, Bones, TrueBlood, and Dexter.

In the three months since best-selling E.L. James book, Fifty Shades of Grey, went viral the Film Rights have sold to Universal Pictures for seven figures (with an estimated value over $3,000,000.) It has a built-in revenue market. Just as St. Martins Press assumed that the millions of individuals who bought the self-published work on Amazon would be a prediction for even greater numbers of print copies sold, the film executives at Universal along with the 10 other outbid studios made the assumption that the collective readership of print and ebooks would be automatic movie ticket sales. They’re probably right.

But Fifty Shades of Grey and the prior examples only show successful bestsellers making a further leap up the ladder. What about books or series which have not been published but hit the ground running with film options? The Selection, by Kiera Cass, was picked up by the CW before the first book had even been released. Now truth be told, I haven’t read it (but plan to – it’s on my to-read list after Bitterblue) but from the awesome book trailer and reviews it couldn’t be more clear that this book is made for television. In fact one of the Editorial Reviews posted on the Amazon page is “Reality T.V. meets dystopian fairy tale in Kiera Cass’s delightful debut. Charming, captivating, and filled with just the right amount of swoon!” – Kiersten White. So yeah, there are those books that have that television angle. (Kiera Cass has an amazing Youtube vlog going on btw…makes me want to write a post on author outreach & new media.)

Trailer for The Selection

It’s cute but I’ll be honest when I ask, beg, and plead with the CW to have a more diverse cast of princesses-to-be in the television series.

Of course the optioning of film or television rights is no guarantee that your book will make it onto anybody’s screen. Not A Fire Exit was optioned for a film in June 2010 by JoJo Road Productions. It’s now almost two years later. I haven’t seen a movie about muscular atrophy recently, have you?

Now what about staying true to the book? There are some really, really great examples of this. And some really, really bad ones. What do I mean by staying true? Not changing the plot significantly, no adding in 10 different main characters who weren’t in the book and visually a good representation of the book.

Good Adaptations

The Game Of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Middle Ground

The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

*According to my own methodology this is a bad adaptation BUT for many, many viewers (myself included) the flexibility that Alan Ball has taken with the Trueblood script has introduced amazing characters who the original readers would have never met. In fact, Lafayette is a supporting back house character in the books, I know CRAZY right?, and Jessica doesn’t even exist. So change can be good.

Bad Adaptations

Special Recognition for The Last Airbender (Television series turned movie)

What do you all think are other examples of Bad or Good Adaptations? Where do The Vampire Diaries or The Secret Circle belong?