books v film

Book v Film: The Mist

Today I want to look at one of my favourite writers and an adaptation of one of their novellas. I’d like to look at the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’. The novella was released in 1985 in the collection ‘The skeleton Crew’, while the film came out in 2007.

In my opinion, the main things that changed when the novella got adapted were the atmosphere and tone of the story. I want to focus this blog on the elements that the director changed which I feel has effected these.

The most obvious in my opinion is the pacing, the novella, for all it is short at only 130 pages, is a slow burn. Everything in the novella takes time, the characters are introduced gently and given time to establish themselves before we get to the monsters (the first one doesn’t show up until the second third of the novella). King uses the first third of the story to foreshadow, build tension and most importantly make you care and connect with the characters.

The film jumps almost straight to the action, we get a brief introduction of our main character, his son and his neighbour all before we’re whisked away into the supermarket where the bulk of the film takes place. I understand that films will struggle with pacing compared to novels and novellas, they are a completely different medium so we struggle to spend time in our MC’s head, films also have a limited run time so it’s natural that they might cut some of the ‘fluff’ but the world and character building does suffer for it in my opinion.

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Katie's Stories

Katie’s Stories: You Can’t Turn A Circle Into A Square

Today I want to have a chat about novels and novellas.

I have talked about these two before, but today I want to talk about them a little differently, from a far more personal standpoint. One of my current WIP (work in progress) is The Man in Winter, it tells the story of Arthur, who lost his wife Molly when a break-in went wrong. After the man responsible is found and jailed everyone rebuilds their lives. But after moving into a retirement community, Art sees Molly again, and she’s got a lot to tell him about what happened that night and why justice still needs to be done. But who’s going to believe an elderly man with a diagnosis of dementia?

Originally, when this idea came to me, it came to me as a novella. I wrote the first draft over a few months and let it flow naturally, with only a loose plan of what I wanted to do. This style of writing is unlike me. I plan my stories to death before putting the first word to paper, but Art and his story walked into my head in perfect technicolour, requiring very little planning on my part. Then, as Art’s story wound to a close, the key thing I noticed about it was that it was short. Between 30k–40k words.

Continue reading “Katie’s Stories: You Can’t Turn A Circle Into A Square”