Patrick

Patrick

I'm a novelist and content writer from Sydney who also loves gaming, reading, and doing absolutely nothing with my music degree.

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    Latest Articles

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    The Accuracy of Book-To-Movie Adaptations

    Book-to-movie films (and—more regularly, now—shows) are especially common in young adult franchises such as The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. The first three Harry Potter films are some of the most beloved book-to-movie adaptations in history. The latter movies, while successful in other regards, were criticised (especially by book purists) for cutting out, altering, or ignoring large chunks of the source material. I have heard several fans say that they would watch a Harry Potter reboot if it was a high-budget streaming show that adapted each chapter into an episode, with the dialogue and plots and sub-plots remaining exactly the same as the books. Whether this would ever be done remains to be seen,

    Movies face an issue in that they are limited in run-time. While there are long movie adaptations out there (The Lord of the Rings is a prime example), more commonly, they are cut to fit at a little over 2 hours. They prioritise entertainment and a streamlined story. Books can vary in length to a great degree—the first Harry Potter book was around 77,000 words while the fifth (the longest) was around 257,000. Yet the fifth movie (2hrs and 18 minutes long) was actually shorter than the first (2 hours and 32 minutes long). The movie arguably benefited from cutting much of the meat of the book, at least from an entertainment perspective, if not from a story and world perspective.

    How important is it for the plot to be accurately represented in films, given that they are, indeed, adaptations of the source material and not direct translations? Is it enough for the characters and world to be represented with care and detail? Are fans right in complaining about inaccuracy and missing scenes in book-to-movie adaptations? What are some examples of book-to-movie adaptations done well, and done poorly?

    • The different approaches to book adaptations and the merits or detriments of shifting the medium of a story would definitely be an interesting topic. Another possible aspect of the topic would be the question of whether a movie or an episodic show is the most effective format, whether this is case specific, and what sort of plots and subplots lend themselves to short or long form cinema. – Quodlibet 1 year ago
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    • Movies and books are two extremely different mediums with unique characteristics, potential benefits, and potential barriers. Consider this example: In the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, there are several significant internal monologues. In my opinion, one of the most substantial ones is Alice's internal monologue while questioning her own identity (inside the rabbit hole); however, I was unable to locate a single movie that featured this internal monologue. In a novel, a character could typically have an internal monologue for a whole chapter, or even more, but in a movie, it would be disastrous. In light of this, I believe the questions to be asked are: Which elements should be removed in order to make room for the new medium? What elements need to be modified to take advantage of the new medium's potential? etc. The issue is not whether there should or shouldn't be disparities between the two - because there will always be disparities between the two; rather, it is how to implement these contrasts without compromising the book's basic concepts and takeaways. – Samer Darwich 1 year ago
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    • The benefits of a series format compared with that of a film would definitely be an interesting topic. In my opinion one of the interesting examples to explore would be the adaptation of philip pulman's series 'his dark materials' and how the movie compares to the HBO series. Whils both effectively translate the novels into another format, both fail where the other succeeds. For example the HBO series is more detailed and has better pacing whereas the movie has a tone that is similar to that of the books. Another example is all quiet on the western front which has been adapted into a television sereis and two different movies, the most recent havign been released this year. I'm sure some interesting comparisons can be drawn between the different adaptations that would help furthere develop this topic. – Matilda 1 year ago
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    • The debate of making a successful book to movie adaptation is great to engage in. There first needs to be an acknowledgement that there ate two different mediums and depending how abstract or explicit, its down to directors' and writers interpretation the book. – ml22370 1 year ago
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    • I think that books do more intense and detailed descriptions of the story. But the adaptation of a book to the movie is really good as not all can read books but most people watch movies tho! – dancingnumbers 1 year ago
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    • I think the recreation of famous stories in film can be a really beautiful thing and gives more options of accessibility for a wide range of audiences. Although I can agree that film adaptations can be missing the "spark" of the novel, there will always be different versions that exist. A recording of an audiobook with a different voice actor than the original recording will have nuances and tone that transform the story, just as a movie will create a slight variation of the original tale. Within these changed adaptations we can add new, modern factors to elevate relatability and relevance to modern society, such as increasing diversity (which is always a good thing). – tayloremily29 12 months ago
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    Taken by Beatrix Kondo (PM) 2 months ago.
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    The Problem With Sliding Timelines in Comic Books

    Major comic book publications DC and Marvel have been around for the better part of the century. In that time, the most popular superheroes in the world have been through a lot — far too much for just one life. Comic books use a sliding or floating timeline to allow characters to remain relatively ageless and storylines to stay relevant. For example, Peter Parker (Spider-man) debuted in 1962 and aged in real time for 3 years until his high school graduation in The Amazing Spider-man issue #28. Yet, nearly 60 real-time years and 900 issues later (not to mention countless other limited and extended runs), Peter is still a young adult. While engaging storylines can still be written in the ongoing Spider-man comics, some readers may find there is a limit to how far their suspension of disbelief can be stretched. Discuss the prevalence of the sliding timeline in major comic book publications and how it creates problems with continuity, character development, and reader engagement. Consider solutions to these problems, such as with DC’s ever-rebooting universe, the increasing popularity of standalone series, ‘Elseworlds’ and ‘Black Label’ stories, and limited runs.

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      The Art of Subtlety: Unravelling the Enigmatic Lore of the Dark Souls Series

      Meticulously crafted by From Software, the Dark Souls games are infamous for their frustrating difficulty. But the real masterpiece of the Dark Souls franchise is its environmental storytelling, which forces the player to explore and deduce the narrative for themselves. Every way they turn, players are faced with bewildering dialogue, obscure item descriptions, and mystifyingly grotesque enemies. Discuss how the sense of mystery and confusion is integral to the Dark Souls series and how its unconventional narrative structure offers a distinct experience and has contributed to its cult status.

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        Latest Comments

        Patrick

        Awesome article! It made me love The Witcher even more than I already did. I appreciated the cultural and historical insights, too, I find that really interesting.

        The Witcher Series: The Mastery of Adaptation
        Patrick

        Thank you Zoe! I’m glad you could learn something from this article. Another interesting point that you raise is the concept of watching someone else play a game — it can be fun at times, like watching a movie, but if your boyfriend (or anyone else you play/watch a game with) is a completionist and side-quest addict, it can be frustrating, because you just want to watch the main story, and the crazy OCD gamer is wandering off in search of loot and collectibles while the world is literally ending (as has been conveyed to me by my girlfriend). Thanks for reading and for the kind words, and I hope you get to experience some more excellent games!

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games
        Patrick

        Hey, thanks for reading! I’m glad you learned something from it. I, too, (along with my sister), was a Nancy Drew gamer back in the PC disc days… While Nancy Drew games follow a more linear path, there are options to explore the game world, and those were my favourite parts too. My favourites games include ‘Phantom of Venice’, ‘Haunting of Castle Malloy’, and the one about shipwrecks that I can’t remember the name of. Definitely, it felt like we have some agency in the way we solve the mystery. Open-world games are just blown up scale-wise ten-fold, but some elements of the Nancy Drew games can be seen in more modern titles, such as the mini-games and the dialogue choices…

        Do it. Return to the gaming world. 🙂

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games
        Patrick

        Thank you! I’ve always been intrigued by Black Flag — I’ve heard great things, seen some fun gameplay, and I love me some pirates and open seas. To be honest, maybe I was put off by my experiences with the later titles like Odyssey and Valhalla. I’ll have to give it a go one of these days. Personally, I think I was a bit late to the Skyrim train and it also never had a full hold on me, but I know so many people that love it, and they’ve successfully convinced me of its legacy, so maybe I’ll have to try again soon. Thanks for reading and for the recommendation!

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games
        Patrick

        Thanks for reading! I’ve never played the Fallout games but always meant to start (I own Fallout 4 but have sadly never had the time to get into it). I also own Far Cry: Primal but only played about an hour of it.

        Definitely — with huge games where there’s always something undiscovered, you certainly are getting what you pay for.

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games
        Patrick

        I agree to a certain degree. Take Red Dead, sometimes that game’s realism gets in the way of players’ enjoyment. You try and immerse yourself fully and just end up spending the whole day fishing or camping and cooking… where that game shines, though, is when you don’t take it so seriously, and allow yourself to have a little fun rather than playing it as a Cowboy Simulator. Personally, I prefer fantasy games too. Give me magic and dragons and flying over cars and horses and walking.

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games
        Patrick

        It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s significantly less annoying than its predecessors.

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games
        Patrick

        I love the choice-making too, it feels safe and like you are invested in the character and world. I’m currently on my 4th play through of The Witcher 3 and maxing out an OP sign build… I was a Witcher enthusiast for years before I started playing From Soft games — they drew me in with their game design, lore, and just the challenge you feel from getting constantly disrespected by enemies. Not for everyone and definitely incites gamer rage, but the high you get from killing a crazy-hard boss… oh man. Very different types of games. Elden Ring is definitely still worth a play if you like RPGs, but it’s a big time and energy sinker.

        The Compulsive Indulgence of Open-World Games