When less is more

Ever wondered why movies often don’t live up to their books?

We are surrounded by noise. The daily news is a great example. How many of the several thousands news headlines and articles have had a significant impact on your life?

The essentialist gleans the essence from this noise. From the cryptocurrency hype, she realizes what blockchain technology means for our future. From Elon Musk’s farting unicorn, touchy diver friend and penchant for lighting joints on podcasts, she infers how fame, the limelight and a twitter account can be self-destructive.

Writers are essentialists. Stephen King talks about how writers have an advantage over film-makers in telling the same story. When portraying a character, a writer learns to supply the four of five most important details and leave the rest to the reader’s imagination. He can describe Alex as a lanky, socially awkward math genius. The readers can then fill in the gaps. They can give Alex a face, imagine what he wears and how he walks. My idea of how Harry Potter looked was quite different from yours before the movies came out. JK Rowling enrolled both of us into her creation.

This is where film-makers lose out to writers. The film-maker is forced to cast an actor and fill in all the blanks. He cannot conspire with the audience to create these characters. Thereby, he induces some noise along with the essence of the story he is portraying. Like Daniel Radcliffe’s face.

Essentialism is an craft. Writing can help you sharpen it.

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