Sunday, March 4, 2012

Talking Fresh 10: The Novel to Film

Talking Fresh poster, 2012
Talking Fresh Poster
Regina, Saskatchewan: I spent my weekend at Talking Fresh 10, the tenth annual celebration of writing organized by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. This year, the theme was Projecting the Novel: Books and Film, and the speakers were novelists and screenwriters.

It was a great event, live-tweeted by Kelly-Ann Reiss (check Twitter for #talkingfresh), featuring local Regina mystery writer Gail Bowen (Kaleidoscope), along with poet and novelist Alison Pick (Far to Go), novelist Nino Ricci (Lives of Saints), and dramatist/ screenwriter, Karen Walton (Ginger Snaps).

And yes, I know that each has written far more than the books in brackets!

Alison Pick  © SB
Gail Bowen  © Shelley Banks, All Rights Reserved
Gail Bowen  © SB
Karen Walton © Shelley Banks, All Rights Reserved.
Karen Walton  © SB
Nino Ricci  © SB

As a writer, I was interested to hear the experiences of authors who've been approached by offers to option their books. The following were repeatedly stressed: 

  1. Stories may have a life of their own — and may be best told in other media by writers expert in that medium. 
  2. Emotions and other potentially interior factors need to be dramatized, once a novel is moved to film. This may lead to completely new scenes and characterization, which may completely startle the work's original author. 
  3. Screenwriters do pay attention to poetic language, images and metaphors that run through work. (This one, I liked.) 

I enjoyed their individual presentation styles, too, from valiantly jet-lagged Alison Pick to Nino Ricci, with his stories of selling his soul to Sophia Lauren, and Karen Walton, with her collection of coloured sticky notes.

I introduced Gail Bowen, and asked her to explain how she learned to read at age three from the tombstones in a local cemetery... (How fitting for an author with titles about blood, coffins, and death.) And yes, it's true. You can read the story on her blog.)

Thanks to SWG, SMPIA, with assistance from SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Sask Lotteries, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Film Pool Cooperative (Reception), City of Regina and the Canada Council for the Arts, for producing this event.

Talking Fresh speakers, 2012 - photo by Shelley Banks
The authors on stage at Regina's MacKenzie Art Gallery


  1. Thanks for this overview of Talking Fresh -- I was at the panel discussion, and appreciated it so much, especially Nino Ricci's and Gail Bowen's perspectives.

  2. Hi Shelley,
    Wish I could have been there. Thank you for the summary.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...