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Outlander: Book Series Vs. TV Series

Outlander, the book, was released approx. 20 years ago by Diana Galbaldon. Just last year Starz bought the rights to the book and created the TV series. The series has received great reviews worldwide, although non-US TV audiences are behind the US release schedule.

Questions to consider:

1. Why did it take 20 years for the book to be turned into live action? The book has a certain edginess and rawness that is unique (in my opinion) and requires an extremely strong female lead. Was TV (or film) actually capable of creating such a show before 2014?

2. What is the audience’s reception to seeing not only their favourite characters alive on the screen, but also some very graphic and unusual scenes? Episodes 15 and 16 received a lot of hype.

3. How was the story line for the TV series altered from the book in an effective way? What changes did the TV writers make that didn’t do the book justice?

  • I think that this is a really great topic! I especially love point number two! Audiences have certainly changed a lot! The ability though to incorporate detail (especially to the extent that Galbaldon incorporates in her books) also is important though I think in making the show work, and I think that it's one of the reasons why it took so long to make. It is a story that spans multiple genres, and needs to be taken seriously and made high-quality in order to do it any modicum of justice. – Xiya 8 years ago

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I watched Nightcrawler just recently and was blown away. I think the film is meant to make humans feel guilty for “our” behaviour,” and it did for me. It was also pretty freaky to see Jake Gyllenhaal the way his was in the movie.

As for another example, I recently saw a movie called The Factory starting John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter. They’re assigned to a case where teenage girls have been kidnapped and killed, but it turns out that the kidnapper is actually keeping the girls in his basement and using them as a “factory” to create babies. By accident the kidnapper takes Cusack’s daughter, who didn’t fit the normal profile, and she fights back. However, the ending totally throws you for a loop (I won’t spoil it) and you find out that the person you thought was helping, wasn’t. It is this person that I would define as a psychopath as per this article.

It didn’t get good ratings on IMDB, but I was fairly impressed. It’s worth watching at least once. (Especially because my description does not do it justice!)

Psychopaths: Cinema's Worst Critics

For Canadian writers out there, there are a couple writing books written by award-winning Canadian authors that may also be helpful:

The Joy of Writing: A Guide for Writers Disguised as a Literary Memoir by Pierre Berton

Thing Feigned or Imagined: A Self-directed Course in the Craft of Fiction by Fred Stenson

Essential Books for Writers

This is a very interesting article! I do, however, think there are multiple types of fanfiction and grouping all types together is slightly unfair. It would be like grouping all romance or mystery or thrillers together.

One type, in my observations, is fanfiction that continues the life of a character (and possibly world) created by another author. In this case the writing, while perfectly okay for stress-relief, relaxation or other personal purposes, does tread into copyright issues, and therefore is ‘uncool’ for the new author to publicly publish. It’s this type of fanfiction I can see causing problems for the original authors.

A second type, again, in my observations, if fanfiction where a plot concept or idea is noticed by a new author, and that new author using it as the premise for a new story. The good and bad things with this type of fanfiction is that unless the new author specifically tells you it’s fanfiction, you may never know. Another thing to consider about this type of fanfiction is that it’s hard to read a book now-a-days that has a completely new and never-before-used plot concept! This isn’t a bad thing, but it goes with the argument in this article regarding where you exactly draw the line.

I personally have no problems with fanfiction, in general, as long as it does not step on the rights of the original author – unless that author is explicitly supportive of it.

I don’t think the fact that a story may be fanfiction implies lack of quality. I’ve read novels by several published authors with terrible writing (some of which I’ve given up on). Therefore, I also don’t think being a published author implies quality writing. I think in both cases it’s about risk. Self-published authors are taking the risk that their writing is of the type and quality that readers will like. And publishers are taking the risk that a book *they* think is good will also be liked by a large number of consumers. In the end, it’s the reader (aka. consumer) that decides what is good and what isn’t based on their buying power.

Fanfiction: The Merits of Originality