This week’s collection of articles that have captured my attention includes a few longer pieces. If you’re used to bite-sized web articles, it might take some arm twisting to get you to read them, but consider making some time (or sending them to your Kindle for reading later). They’re well worth it.
|An assortment of movie novelizations, jammed together unevenly by me.|
- “The Endangered Art of the Movie Novelization” is the topic of a Random House article that covers a lot of fascinating ground. Before you say “Good riddance,” take a look. There’s some great background on the history of novelizations (including the fact that the first popular one was King Kong). Frequent novelizer Alan Dean Foster weighs in on topics like being privy to script changes, and the fact that when a director decides to change the ending, a re-write on the novel has to happen in a flash.
- TV Writer may be for those who write teleplays, but they often have advice that transcends the medium. A recent post on writing dialogue addresses some particular annoyances, such as characters who say each other’s names for no good reason. It’s a quick read, so use the extra time to subscribe to the TV Writer feed. It should prove useful to anyone writing just about anything.
- “Silence has become the ultimate luxury,” says an article in the New Republic, so much so that we’re willing to pay for it. This comprehensive piece covers silence as a commodity, from Amtrak’s silent cars to noiseless appliances, but it also digs deeper into our preoccupation with eliminating noise.
- When is a joke too soon? Slate looks at humor that follows tragedy and tries to get to the bottom of why some types of humor work while other jokes fall flat. The Onion’s post-911 headlines generated a lot of positive responses, which they say is largely due to the fact that they chose the right targets for their satire. Timing, then, is only part of the equation.
- Does reading literature make you a better bully? The Stanford Center for Ethics says it can. A heightened ability to understand human emotions can make one more skilled at manipulation and harassment. While that doesn’t mean that reading automatically makes meanies, the panel disagrees with the notion that reading automatically improves morals, as some have tried to prove.
Have you read any movie novelizations? Made any jokes too soon? Botched your dialogue or been a bully? Let me know. If not, we can all enjoy the silence.