The other day, Dave and I were finishing up "The Boys Are Back," a film about Clive Owen's character trying to survive the death of his wife. This was based on the life and novel The Boys Are Back In Town, by former sportswriter Simon Carr.
It took us a couple days to finish the movie because 1) I had that flu, and 2) the movie was really slow.
I thought about how YA books don't have the luxury of being slow. How they have to please with plot, and right away.
On the other hand, for a film, being visually stimulating is often enough. There might be no dialogue, no narration, for minutes on end, but music and movement and scene still happen.
All that takes pages and pages of scriptwriting (words) to create.This reminds me of an NPR story I heard years ago on the ginormous (6- or 700-page) screenplay of "Brokeback Mountain," in which, besides the famous "I wish I knew how to quit you," had minimal dialogue. But every time a cowboy brushed his hand across a horse, that was probably 10 pages of script right there. So oodles more words were added to the original short story by E. Annie Proulx.
Okay, where is all this going? Well, with the slow films, it's not going anywhere, at least anytime soon.
But with YA literature, this just isn't the case. There's no more allowance for sinking into a story through scene, through description. It's all action, right from The Hook.
Which makes me wonder: what is the fate of The YA Introduction's evolution? Is it reflective of today's young readers? Have authors pinned themselves into a corner by delivering what's demanded? What is lost by having a hook? What is gained? And where, in terms of beginnings, will we be 20 years from now?
FALL 2015 TOUR
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