My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Book Was SOOOOO Much Better Poll

It didn't make our poll, but what a spectacular example.
Image description: The Cat in the Hat
Book vs. Mike Myers movie.
What book was SOOOOO much better than the movie?

Book lovers are no stranger to both giving and hearing that familiar paean: "Oh the book was better." "The book was a lot better." "Have you read the book? It's much better." "Oh the book was so much better."

Most books are just better. (Not universally, but if you had to bet a dollar, that would be the way to go.) They go deeper into the story, they have subplots. They show things that film can't. Not that film can't show things a book can't like the every intricate detail of costuming or set design, but books often have more story–more girth.

Most books are better. And this is not their poll.

This is not a poll for good books and mediocre movies. Or mediocre books and bad movies. Or great books and good movies. (And certainly not those movies that are strangely better than the books.) This is a poll for those books that are hugely, outrageously, unbelievably better than their movies. Books where you want to grab people and say "But have you read the book? Do you know that this movie is a book? Because if you haven't read the book, you must. It's better. It's SOOOOOO much better! SOOOOOO. MUCH. BETTER!!!!"

Ahem....well, you get the idea.

The actual poll is on the left hand side at the bottom, beneath the "About The Author" section. Mobile viewers will have to go to the very bottom of their page and switch to "Web View" in order to access the poll.

Our poll was pulled from your nominations, and as I said, I tallied up the "seconds" a title had gotten (or nominations later on down the page) and looked at what had received the most to create a number between 8-24. While I'm willing to do a semifinal round, I'm not willing to do endless elimination rounds and quarterfinals and such just because we're getting more participation on our polls. (Which is awesome, but I don't want every poll to take six months.) In this case NINE titles stood out with five "seconds" or more.

Everyone will get three (3) votes.

There is no way to rank votes, so please consider that every vote beyond the first "dilutes" the power of your initial vote and use as few as you can stand to use.

Two data points of note:

Number one-  I love you all to bitly bits, but you have to learn to follow directions. Putting the comments in the wrong place or nominating more than two titles just got your nominations ignored. If you wish, consider Writing About Writing your tough, but fair, place to learn how mean busy people can be if you waste their time by not following directions. Honestly, it's a good lesson for writers to learn the hard way, and better to do it on some silly poll. If you're going to try to submit a manuscript to an agent (or god help you, directly to a publisher), the most important first thing you can do is to read carefully and then follow every submission guideline to the letter. They want pagination? Don't figure that's no big deal and w/e. Sample chapters? Don't send them the whole thing. Physical submission? Don't you dare email them.  Hell, some of them are so overwhelmed with queries that they make up rules just to haze out entitled dillholes who can't be arsed to pay attention–they don't even care if it's really 12 pt font. Because do you think it's going to be the consummate professional who takes the time to submit properly or the twenty-two year old who put the text in an email who is more likely to have spammed out their Nano draft to every addy they found in The Writer's Market.  Doesn't matter if you wrote The Catcher in the Rye, it'll be The Catcher in the Trashcan if you don't pay attention to directions.

Number two- If you're ever arguing that Hollywood (or publishing) doesn't have a diversity problem, please notice which titles made it to the poll. Please notice that they are–with ONE exception white dudes' books (the exception is a white woman) and mostly (though not exclusively) about white dudes. And I don't know all their biographical info, but I think it's all or mostly cishet white dudes at that. Hollywood seems more interested in slapping together shitty movies that use the name recognition of white dudes' books than finding something. This isn't necessarily these authors' faults, but it's emblematic of both Hollywood and the publishing industry. My next poll will have to be something deliberately designed to counteract this fuckery.

This poll will be up until February 1st-ish (maybe second or third....depends on my mood and if the votes are still coming in). You can vote once a week. Since I can't stop shenanigans, I encourage as much of it as possible. Vote early, vote often.


  1. It would have been great if Guillermo del Toro had directed the Hobbit, with Jackson having nothing to do with it. Similarly, I would have liked DiCaprio to have gotten the film rights to WWZ and worked from the Straczynski script, instead of being a Brad Pitt chase movie.

  2. It's not like they were complicated directions.

  3. Unluckily I just discovered this and can't nominate. Personally if there's one movie that gave me this feeling is Asimov's I Robot, sad I couldn't bring it to the table.

    1. I nominated it, and got some seconds but just not enough. It was really dire!

      Have you read Ellison's screenplay? It wasn't made, but is really good (with one huge continuity divergence from books/stories, but it fitted.)

    2. If you're talking about the Will Smith movie, absolutely. (Not sure how I Robot would actually translate into a movie, but the book was wonderful.)

      Unfortunately I was serious about not having endless elimination rounds. (Our last poll went on for five months.) So any title needed at least a nomination and five seconds. I think I Robot got somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four.

    3. Yeah, that one. They made Susan Calvin the love interest. Just one of the many, many issues I had with the movie, but it kind of stands out.

      And completely understand about the rules :)

      Harlan Ellison's version could have worked... he followed the structure of a reporter, this time investigating, and telling stories in flashback. Definitely worth a read.

  4. I try to pretend that World War Z was never made into a movie. Having your favorite book eviscerated like that is simply too painful.

  5. I would have said My Sister's Keeper.

  6. Bridget Jones' Diary. She's quite witty in the book, but they made her a buffoon in the movie.