Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Art imitates art


Okay, so I know it's been over a month since Christmas, but I was thinking about our life imitating art discussions. And I remember when I wondered if art could imitate art.

A while ago, I was obsessed with the character of Scrooge from Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". I wondered if his eleventh hour transformation could have lasted (despite Dickens' assurances that he truly did change). That got me to thinking about what it would take to make Scrooge go back to his miserly ways. I figured the death of Tiny Tim would shake the core of Scrooge's beliefs, and that might spark a return to his old ways.

Thus, my sequel to "A Christmas Carol" was born.

Haven't you ever done that? Finished a book and wondered what happened after? I did that also with "Gone with the Wind". Did Scarlett win Rhett back? Could she ever find contentment and happiness? What happened the next day? And the next...


I love it when characters in books seem so real that they live on in our minds long after we've closed the book. That's the sign of a gifted writer. Because characters that feel alive are well-rounded and are strongly motivated. They're also not easy to write, though we try. They might be based on people we know and love or completely fictional. They might be headstrong like Scarlett O'Hara or seemingly weak on the outside but strong on the inside like Melanie Wilkes. (PS - I also attempted writing a sequel to "Gone with the Wind" in seventh grade. I can't get away from it, I guess LOL).

I also love stories that use the influence of a well-known novel or play (like "West Side Story" influenced by "Romeo and Juliet" or "Clueless" by "Emma") to create a new story. So isn't that art imitating art too?


I think the Heartwarming novels have the potential for these kinds of characters and stories.We have the room to develop characters and delve into plot. I'm looking forward to the July launch of original Heartwarming stories.

What about you? What book(s) have you imagined a sequel to? Or what character(s) would you like to spend the day with?

11 comments:

  1. Your post made me think... I love Gone With the Wind. I've probably read it twenty times. The sequel just once and I wish I'd not read it. I loved using my imagination to ponder what happened to Scarlett and Rhett. BTW. I saw the movie when I was about thirteen. I think they showed it at school. I came home and told my mom, "I'm in love with Clark Gable." My mom, a bit too realistic, said, "He's dead."

    As for me, I want to live with my family next to James Herriot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pamela,
      I too did not enjoy the sequel to GWTW. It just didn't have the magic that the original did. The characters seemed too contrived and inconsistent from the original.

      And yes, I was in love with Clark Gable too.

      Love James Herriot!

      Delete
  2. A writer's mind is always working. For the longest time I didn't like A Christmas Carol because I have always thought Scrooge was too mean to really change. And I'm with Pam on wishing I hadn't read the sequel to Gone With The Wind. It's a book that didn't live up to expectations or the hype. I haven't found myself looking at a book and trying to figure out what could follow, but I do that with news articles. Some bug me, because they rarely give us follow ups that tie up the story ending. Several of my books have been news stories that kept haunting me until I gave them happy endings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, I totally understand about news stories giving you the spark of an idea and wondering what happens next.

      I think my wish to continue books I've read stems from my childhood when I would imagine that the characters were my friends and come up with different scenarios we would find ourselves in. For a while, it was "Little House on the Prairie". I even asked my mom to make me a prairie dress.

      Delete
  3. I've spent the most time and emotion thinking about what rest of Ezra's life is like (from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler). He is the character in fiction I have most wanted to give love to. I just hope, in Tyler's mind, he does eventually find a lasting loving relationship.

    Side note - I very much enjoy this blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RubyAlison, thanks for the book suggestion. Putting it on my hold list for the library now.

      Glad you're enjoying the blog!

      Delete
  4. Syndi - What's haunting you is the very reason connected books are so popular. Readers want to see those characters again, even in a subordinate position to another romance. But I've always thought it awful that another writer can pick up Jane Austen's work and put Zombies in her stories and kill off characters we liked. But that's me. I would like to think that Rick and Ilsa found each other again after her husband died doing something heroic, and - if I'm allowed to mess with Arthurian legends - that Guinevere thought better of her dalliance with Lancelot and stayed with Arthur. (Who would give up Arthur for anyone?) I guess all our thoughts on the subject give due credit to a job well done by all those authors. (Incidentally, I think Casablanca began its life as a screenplay and was never a book first, so I apologize if that doesn't apply.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes no sense that Guinevere went with Lancelot. If she was bored, she should have helped people! Or cleaned the castle (just kidding about that one).

      Delete
    2. Muriel, Casablanca definitely counts. I always wondered what Rick did after the plane took off. Did he decide to go after her? Hang out with his new friend?

      And yes, I do enjoy connected books whether it's through family ties or the town or even a murder mystery plot. I think that Harlequin Heartwarming is a good fit for this.

      Delete
  5. Wow- I'm late to the "Wish I hadn't Read GWTW2" Party- but glad I'm here now. That book had so much against it from the start. I'm sure the writing was great but some stories- especially ones with such unforgettable characters like Rhett and Scarlett should never be recreated. As for what I would like to see continued- the family in Little Miss Sunshine. I just have to know if they are okay after Olive's rousing performance at the beauty pageant. Did her father ever sell his book, her uncle kick his depression, her brother find another goal now that he no longer train to be a pilot?? I love love love messy families like this and hope to bring them into Harlequin Heartwarmings in the future! Thanks for the great post, Syndi!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to spend the day with Jo from Little Women. At the end she was with her German guy, but it left you hanging. I want to know if they married, had kids, got the school running ...

    ReplyDelete