Would Shakespeare be a TV writer?

Dude ... I love this friggin' show!
Dude … I love this friggin’ show!

Lately it seems like every other books is being turned in to a TV series. Just today I read a short article about how Weaveworld by Clive Barker (c. 1985) is being turned into a series on the CW. The CW is an American channel that does a lot of shows such as Supernatural, The Flash and etc. I’m not too keen on books being made into series. Hell, I’m not too keen on books being made into movies. When I read a book part of the appeal is that I can imagine what the world, characters, and etc look and sound like. A really good book is a painting or play in mind’ eye. The reason the whole TV series doesn’t work for me is because it takes that away. You can get one person or a group of writers’ view of what that book looks and feels like.

That pretty much kills the magic for me.

Romeo & Juliet's seasons are way too short ...
Romeo & Juliet’s seasons are way too short …

On a lot of writers’ forums I’ve been on it seems like getting a TV series outta your novel is the lofty goal these days. The proverbial goose that lays the golden egg. Whatever happened to simply writing to tell a story? Writing to write the kind of story you’d want to read?

The one positive is that some times a TV viewer will start to read the original books and over time start reading more and more. I have a friend who did so by starting with the Game of Thrones show and getting into the novels more so. But I don’t think that the networks or even the author really has this in mind. I think its much more about the money in the bank then promoting reading. I think that once a book becomes a series its a product and a ghost of itself doomed to haunt Amazon and other online stores in the form of over the top merchandise and blu-ray dvds for all eternity or until the show burns out and fans distance themselves from it. In pop culture today I’d say eternity is one to two seasons or so.

Hopefully, the whole ‘turn everything into a series’ will wither. If modern writers are out there writing in a style and voice to appeal and cop the TV series out there now it’ll put a damper on contemoprary  fiction. I know not all writers want a series made out of their novels. I know some detest that idea. That’s a good thing. A very good thing.

When books merely become a stepping stone to get a TV series cheapens them. Books were meant to be read and enjoyed for what they are themselves.

Maybe my views make me a zealot. Maybe I should move to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I shoot my TV.



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