Tag Archives: tie-ins

Authors Answer 127 – Writing Novels for TV Series and Movies

Many popular TV series and movie series have side stories written by independent authors. Some are official, some aren’t. But would any of us want to write one of these novels?

Question 127 – If you were asked to write a novel for a popular movie or TV series, which would it be and why?

H. Anthe Davis

As I am averse to handling other people’s characters (to the point that I would never write fanfiction, though I certainly read it), I don’t know that I would be comfortable with novelizing anyone else’s material at all.  I’m sure I can do it, but having heard some anecdotes about the process (authors ordered to kill off certain fan-favorite characters in tie-in novels, thus taking a lot of heat from fans), I don’t think I’d be well-suited to it.  I’m also no longer enough of a fan of anything beside books to really feel excited about the prospect.  I’d really just rather do my own thing.

C E Aylett

I’d never think to do that — it’s usually the other way around, isn’t it? Um… dunno, matey! Coo, you’ve stumped me on that one. Maybe Taboo? That’s nice and dark/gritty with lots of criminal behaviour in it — just my style. Or Peeky Blinders. History is often so much about the aristocracy and propriety and I always wonder what went on in the the nooks and crannies in the lower echelons of past society — the whore houses and opium dens, and the bootlegging. Historical fiction is starting to explore those areas more now on TV, which is appealing to me, just wish I’d taken that avenue before it became popular! Ah well, probably missed that boat. Bummer.

Paul B. Spence

I assume you’re asking what I would like to write one for. TV: Stargate, Star Trek TOS, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, any other sci-fi really. Movies: Arrival, Star Trek. Who knows? I’d be willing if I had a certain amount of creative control. I like most sci-fi and fantasy. Does that answer anything?

Eric Wood

I interpret this question to mean that I would write a novel based on the characters of that show or movie using the same theme or setting. With that in mind, after some careful thought I think I would a novel based on a new show called “This Is Us“. It’s based around three siblings and bounces from the present day as adults and the past as they were kids. It’s both funny and touching and it’s what I would want to write.

Jean Davis

Having just made it through the Iron Fist, I’m going to just come out and say the writing was not great on many fronts, action and dialogue being top of my list. If a writer had to step forward to help get that show up to par with the rest of the Marvel shows, I’d raise my hand (along with a lot of other people, I’m sure).

Gregory S. Close

I’m going to go slightly off the reservation and apply this question to a video game, instead of TV or movie.  I would love to write a novelization of Half-Life.  I spent a few years working at the real-life inspiration for Black Mesa (the Los Alamos National Lab) so there’s something personal in there for me along with the great story of inter-dimensional intrusion and government conspiracy mixed in with the mundanity of government contractor work.  I’ve always been surprised that this one never leapt to the big screen – this is a great horror/sci-fi story waiting for a broader audience.

D. T. Nova

Transformers. Sure it’s mostly for kids, but it’s still one of those that is very high in both the amount of existing lore to draw on and the potential for adding new concepts.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are a lot of TV shows that I’d love to write a novel of, but the first one that came to my mind was Doctor Who. The main reason is just that I love the series so much, I think it would be a blast to write my own story toward it. In addition to that, though, it just seems like an excellent series for a writer to delve into. It encapsulates such an enormous universe of worlds, creatures, and stories, that there is basically no limit to where you can go and what you can do.

Jay Dee Archer

Without a doubt, I would write novels for Star Trek, especially the original series and The Next Generation. But the more I think about it, Enterprise needs a continuation that takes it to the Romulan Wars. Of course, that’s probably been written. But anyway, Star Trek has been one of my biggest loves in science fiction, and I would love to write for it. I’d like to say it’s been a bit of an inspiration for my writing, too.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what would you like to write novels for? If you’re a reader, do you enjoy reading novels based on TV and movie series? Let us know in the comments section below.


Authors Answer 35 – Movie Tie-In Novels

You know how everyone says that the book is better than the movie? Or you should read the book before you read the movie? What if it’s the other way around, and someone wrote a novel based on the movie? Those are some interesting books (take that as a good or bad interesting, however you like it).

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 35: How do you feel about movie novelisations?

Allen Tiffany

Movies and novels are such different mediums. This is something that too often gets lost in this discussion. But to the question: I’ve read very few novels based on movies. As I recall, I read a few when I was a kid, and they seemed flat and boring. If memory serves, they were more like a description of the movie than anything else.

From the other direction, like all of us, I’ve read a number of books that I later saw as movies. More often than not, I thought the movie inferior, but that is not always the case. I’ll probably get ravaged for saying this, but I struggled with The Lord of the Rings. I gave up a third of the way into The Two Towers. In contrast, I thought the (11 hour!) movie presentation was brilliant, bringing it all to life for me. I’m sure other people had opposite reactions, which is OK. We all respond to different things. So I just think you have to keep in mind that books and movies are two entirely different things.

Caren Rich

If we’re talking about a novel written from a movie, I’ve never read one and they don’t really interest me.  I’d rather see the movie. Now, I have read a few comics written from movies.  That was entertaining. Of course when it comes to movies made from books, I prefer the book.

D. T. Nova

I haven’t read many, but from what I have the general rule is that I don’t like them much. The one good thing I can say is that sometimes they do include scenes or ideas that were cut from the movie.

One exception is Fantastic Voyage. The novelization was written by Isaac Asimov, and it fixed a lot of scientific errors and at least one plot hole that were in the movie.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Oops. Something missing here. Stay tuned for her answer.

Eric Wood

I’m all for movie novelizations. Though I’ve only read one – Star Wars, Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks. As a big Star Wars fan and Terry Brooks fan I HAD to read this one. I have always thought the books better than the movies because they can provide more background information and build stronger characters. I believe this to be true of novelizations as well.

Gregory S. Close

I found that the novelizations of the Star Wars prequel movies helped me come to terms with my disappointments.  The movies will always evoke a conflicted response from me – a great overarching narrative framed in flawed storytelling. The novels were engaging and helped me to reconnect with the films.

H. Anthe Davis

The only movie novelization I can remember reading is the Labyrinth one, and unfortunately Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies.  The added perspective from Sarah didn’t outweigh not having David Bowie around AT ALL.  So in that regard, I can’t say that I enjoy them.  I’m sure someone can spin greater depths into a movie’s storyline, but I think it generally works better to condense (go from book to movie) than to go the other way, because it might just get watered down.

Jean Davis

I can’t say as I’ve run across that before. I really can’t comment on it.

Linda G. Hill

To be honest, I had to google “move novelisation” to see what it meant. I’m still not completely sure, but it sounds like a novel written from a movie rather than a film adaptation of a novel. I’ve never tried reading such a thing and I’m not sure I’d want to.

Paul B. Spence

I generally have despised them, and yet, I still read them sometimes. Usually used copies bought cheap.

If any of my novels ever make to film, people can read the originals. I also don’t plan to write any screenplays, so my work will never be novelized by anyone else.

Overall, I don’t feel that they affect me in any way.

S. R. Carrillo

I don’t read them. I don’t understand the point of them. If there’s more to add to the movie, why wasn’t that element included in the original screenplay? Although, by simple virtue of books to add to shelves, I prolly would read one just to see what it was like. I much prefer books adapted into movies, not the other way around.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I thought about this question for a good, long time, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve never read any movie novelizations. I’ve read plenty of books that were turned into movies (or TV shows), but I can’t think of a single novel that I’ve read for which the movie came first.

That said, I have nothing against novelizations in particular, and I’d even be likely to write one if the mood struck me. In fact, one of my side projects is a novelization of a classic video game, Final Fantasy III/VI, and it’s super fun to write, so I just might decide to move on to a movie novelization in the future.

Jay Dee Archer

One year, I asked for the latest Star Trek movie for Christmas. Then when Christmas came around, I went to Canada, and opened my presents. And there it was, Star Trek: Nemesis…in book form. That’s right, my mom bought me the novelisation of Star Trek: Nemesis. I didn’t read it until this year (thank my huge backlog).

Out of all the books I’ve read, this was one of the oddest feeling books ever. I knew the story, as I’d seen the movie before. It was an exact copy of the movie.  However, it had the added dimension of being inside the characters’ minds. I knew what they were all thinking. But since it followed the movie exactly, there really wasn’t anything new. No anticipation, no suspense.

There probably are some good novelisations, but I haven’t read any. This was the only one I’ve read.

How about you?

Have you read any movie novelisations? What did you think? Any that are good? Let us know in the comments below.