Monday, January 23, 2012

Your Novel Starring...


How about Tom Cruise as...
Before diving into today’s post, I wanted to throw out a book that’s on my to read list.  Since I’m posting about casting your novel (in your imagination, of course), I’d like to suggest a book on screenwriting.  I attended a workshop a few months ago and the author (whose name escapes me) recommended Save The Cat! by  Blake Snyder. 

The workshop focused on developing heroes and villains, and the presenter highly recommended Snyder’s book.  The title Save the Cat! (courtesy of Wikipedia) is a term coined by Snyder and describes the scene where the audience meets the hero of a movie for the first time. The hero does something nice — e.g. saving a cat—that makes the audience like the hero and root for him. According to Snyder, it is a simple scene that helps the audience invest themselves in the character and the story.  There’s your helpful tip for the day! If you’ve already read Save the Cat!,  please share your thoughts!

Alright, now let’s have some fun! We’ve all done this, whether reader or writer—cast a story we love in our imaginations!  I read Gone with the Wind when I was in eighth grade. The movie was already in existence—and perfectly cast.  But I cast a sequel in my head, you know, the one where Scarlett gets Rhett back.  I decided that Linda Carter (Wonder Woman) would play Scarlett (because she looked like Vivien Leigh), and Chad Everett (Medical Center) would re-enact the role of Rhett! To me, he seemed like the only man at the time (am I showing my age here?) suitable to play Clark Gable—I mean Rhett Butler.

Some Vince Flynn (American Assassin) fans think the perfect Mitch Rapp (a black ops operative) would be Gerard Butler.  I don’t believe the role has been cast yet, but the movie is in the works. Recently, I saw the trailer for Janet Evanovich’s One For the Money, starring Katherine Heigl as bounty hunter Stephanie Plum—what a great choice!  I hope Ms. Evanovich is pleased!

Years ago I remember reading how disappointed author Anne Rice was when her novel Interview with the Vampire was cast starring Tom Cruise in the role of the vampire Lestat.  I suppose when movie rights are sold to a novel, the author cuts ties completely and has no control over the future Hollywood incarnation.  But wouldn’t it be nice if writers could sell their novels with the condition that only actors they choose could be cast as the characters they’d created? 

What’s a story that you’ve read or written that you’ve cast in your imagination? Share your story and your dream cast!  Here's mine:

Leonardo Dicaprio
In The Governor’s Sons, I’ve cast Leonardo Dicaprio as the arrogant, charming and self assured  Ash Kroth.  We first meet Ash in 1936 as a young law student.  In the second half of the story, the year is 1965, and Ash is a segregationist governor.
Tatyana Ali
Tatyana Ali would play the alluring college girl Kitty Wilkes, introduced in Part I (1936).  She works as hired help one summer in Ash's family home.  Ash is twenty-three and immediately attracted to Kitty upon first seeing her.  She flirts with him from day one, and soon the two fall in love.

Kyra Sedgwick
Kyra Sedgwick would be Ash's wife, Charlene Stokes Kroth.  Readers don't meet her until Part II (1965).  At this point she has been Ash's wife for over 25 years.  A former beauty queen, Charlene is smart and beautiful, yet insecure.  She knows of a woman from Ash's past, but she doesn't know just who that mysterious woman was, or how that woman forever changed her husband's life.

Thanks for visiting!

14 comments:

William Kendall said...

I've done this myself, casting my characters with actors, known and less known. As I recall, Charlie Cox or Ben Barnes, both Brits, kind of have the essence of Stryker to them.

Maria McKenzie said...

I remember some of your posts with photos of actors and actresses you'd "cast" in various roles!

Old Kitty said...

Oh but Tom Cruise (not my fave!!) was quite good as Lestat I thought! I think he had something to prove and just hammed it up!! Poor Brad didn't have much to do!! Cruise stole the film! Well I thought so anyway!

Your dream cast looks so gorgeous!!

Take care
x

Maria McKenzie said...

I've never seen the movie, but I love Tom Cruise in anything!

The Golden Eagle said...

I've heard a lot about Save the Cat!--a lot of people seem to recommend it. I'm looking for books on writing/storytelling, so thanks for the tip!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

When I read One for the Money, I soooo pictured NCIS's Pauley Perrette (sp?) as Stephanie Plum! Now it's hard to imagine anyone else playing her. I don't usually cast my stories when writing. But usually I see someone on TV later on that looks like one of my characters, and it's totally weird!

Maria McKenzie said...

@Golden Eagle: Hope you find Save the Cat useful!

@Jennette: I don't usually cast the characters until I'm well into the writing. Sometimes I think of people I know personally who would fit a role!

fakesteph said...

Save the Cat is probably my favorite book on writing. It's excellent. I lost my copy, but am definitely planning on buying it again. I think about the advice in that book all the time. (One of my favorite pieces in the book is The Pope In the Pool--basically, Snyder says that if you HAVE to info dump, there's no other way around it, give your audience something they can not look away from. If you're audience is open mouthed and wondering "Is that Really the Pope in the pool?", then they won't even realize that you just gave them all the boring information they need for the rest of the story.) There is so much good advice in that book and, even better, Snyder is extremely funny.

Maria McKenzie said...

Thanks for visiting, Fakesteph! Now I really can't wait to read Save the Cat! I need to get it off my to read shelf and read it! Nice to know it's ok to do an info dump, provided you do it right!

The Desert Rocks said...

My leading lady reminds me of Zooey Deschanel and her love interest is a humble carpenter that could be Jason Lee or Mark Ruffino. The trouble maker in my book I can totally visualize as Matthew McConahey.

Maria McKenzie said...

Love that cast! Matthew McConahey makes such a nice bad boy:).

Tonya Kappes said...

Before I can begin to write my characters, I fill out a character worksheet and cast my characters with actual movie star pics that I think resembles them. I keep all these in a file for that book. Files are everywhere in my office *wink*

Maria McKenzie said...

Oh my gosh, Tonya! You are so organized!! Now I know how you do as much as you do:)!

Yolanda6 said...

I finished The Governor's Sons tonight and for Harland I picture the guy who plays Jackson on Grey's Anatomy and maybe Zac Efron as Gavin. I like your casting choices BTW!