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68

You've already gotten quite a few good answers, but there's one important point that I didn't see in any of them: You can omit visual and aural details. If you don't want to tell the age of the protagonist, or the hair colour, or the type of clothes, or if you don't want to tell it yet, then you can. In film and TV that's not possible; the protagonist is ...


36

I think in recent years the gap between what is "possible" in a prose vs. film (both cinema and TV) has narrowed significantly - historically the limitations and expense of things like CGI and practical effects made some of the more exotic genres such as Sci-Fi and Fantasy difficult to translate onto film. This is realistically no longer the case in 2019 - ...


19

I think the main advantage is interior life. You can use narration or thoughts to give us what one character is (or several are) thinking. That's hard to do visually without a cabbagehead character or "As you know"ing, which I hate.


17

The main difference is the ability to be published. To break into TV, you need to live somewhere that produces a lot of TV shows (in the United States, you'd move to Los Angeles and try to hang out with others in "the industry"). I'm not sure how else you break in, but it's not easy. You can self-publish 100 novels with the same ease (and money) it ...


17

Your problem is not unusual --we all grow up on a diet of visual media these days, and it affects the way we think and write. As someone who has wrestled with some of the same issues, here are some notable differences: Length - This is one of the most crucial differences. An average length novel has room in it for a lot more material than an average length ...


17

Unlike with comics, you wouldn't want to use sound effects as dialogue or dialogue adjuncts (in comics the letterer makes them separate from actual speech), though you can get away with it in something humorous. You can, however, evoke sound effects. The door slammed shut. vs. She shut the door hard. Or She nocked another arrow, let it fly, and ...


14

Typically, in a prose novel, you would describe the brochure, not reproduce it. After patiently listening to my story, she pulled out a resort brochure titled Transformation Intensive Programme, and pointing out with the pen in her hand she said; “Here, this one looks like something interesting for you." It cost £1500! It would be possible to ...


14

Lots of novels go into detail about music, movies, TV shows, and other art and culture relevant during the setting of the book. Also technology. In some cases the cultural details are important to the setting. High Fidelity is all about the music; failing to mention it would have ruined the book. In other cases, giving those details evokes a particular ...


14

The short story Orange by Neil Gaiman, from his collection Trigger Warning takes your idea one step further: it's framed as a subject's responses to an investigator's written questionnaire. The questions aren't even there - only the answers. It starts: Jemima Glorfindel Petula Ramsey. Seventeen on June the ninth. The last five years. Before that ...


12

Yes, that is acceptable. In dialogue, the only thing I'd say is unacceptable is trying to duplicate "sound effects" in the speech itself.Like if somebody is speaking with a mouth full of sandwich; just say so. Bob mumbled around a mouthful of cereal, "I don't want any." Don't try "I doh wah enna", it breaks the immersion of the reader by making them try ...


12

The Sensory Supernatural Fundamentally, something TV and film cannot do is control the viewer’s response to sensory experience. This generally comes up in fantasy or fantasy tangential genres that involve emotional or psychological effects of visual or auditory phenomenona. Stuff like: Songs that lull the listener to sleep Inhumanly beautiful beings ...


11

A big advantage that I've seen used (and am currently trying to use myself) is that your audience can't actually see your characters. Now I know what you're thinking--"Isn't this a limiting factor?" It may be, but it also means that if you have two main characters who trade off on POV for different chapters, you can have them both run into the same ...


11

Hemingway is a great believer in minimalism. Heck, there's a software program named after him which is all about minimising word usage. His style of dialogue is all about inferring tone and whatnot from the words being said and the context. He leaves the hard work, the imagination, up to the reader and in turn focuses more on delivering the bare bones that ...


10

I would say Rewatch Bonus or The Ending Changes Everything. As a discovery writer, I often don't know my ending until I have written 50% or even 70% of my first draft. So when I am done I actually go back through and look for moments in which I can rewrite a scene for foreshadowing, or add Rewatch Bonuses, sometimes just by modifying dialogue or adding an ...


9

I'd say it depends on what those numbers are. Writing "five in the morning" instead of "5am" isn't going to make too much of a difference to readability. In fact, depending on the general tone of your story, that slight bit of extra eloquence can really enhance it. However, once you get into longer numbers, using the actual numerals really helps with ...


8

Sensory detail A movie or TV show is limited to visual and auditory cues. A book, on the other hand, is capable of describing the whole suite of human sensory experience. You can described the smell of popcorn in the circus air, or the warmth of a downy blanket on a cold night, or the pins-and-needles prickling of moving a limb that's gone to sleep. A ...


8

It tells us nothing The phrase Gary Jules 'Mad Mad World' has no emotional resonance with me whatsoever. It is not shorthand for "a specific emotional state". Popular music is not a universal experience. It can signal to your "tribe": people who are the same age, gender, financial tier, and probably race – the same demographic targeted by that particular ...


7

To me, here's what's implied by the passage: Brett, a woman, went on a trip hoping for some nookie with Robert Cohn. Robert did not come onto Brett, at least not to the extent she was hoping, and she was disappointed. Now Brett is trying to pump Jake for information about Robert. Because she still wants to get Robert in bed. She's also annoyed because ...


6

I had the same reaction to your musical allusion that Wetcircuit did: I have never heard the song "Mad World", or if I have, I don't remember it. It does not bring any emotional state to my mind because I have no idea what it is about or what it sounds like. I've had this conversation with many authors: They'll say, "I included this cultural reference to ...


6

While you don't need to follow a style guide here (except your publisher's of course), it's helpful to look at them. The AP Style Guide (Associated Press) is a good one because it's for American newspapers. Newspapers work hard to bring in a large range of readers, so they aim most of their articles at a high school (or even Jr. High school) reading level (...


6

One big advantage that may or may not be mentioned here is pacing. With a movie or TV show, due to the time limitations, not only do you have less freedom with content, but you also are limited by the ability to express the pace of the story. With a book, every reader reads at a different pace, but you can use that to your advantage. It allows you to write ...


6

(Decided not to spam the comments section, so) Using spoken english ( sometimes called 'being colloquial') is good - it makes your story more realistic. In real life, people 'hmmm' and 'uhh' and pause for confirmation from their audience and have bad grammar. "I goed to the park," said Suzy That's okay* if you've established Suzy as someone who isn't ...


6

This style of dialog works for Hemingway specifically because he's a master of minimalism. As he detailed in his Iceberg Theory, he was always very aware of everything he left out. For that reason the things in his work have a three dimensionality that less fully realized minimalist work can lack. If you really want to try to write in this style, I would ...


6

What came to my mind immediately is Foreshadowing Foreshadowing is the art of giving "hints" of what is about to happen in order to build tension, and a pretty common literary device. In your example, there may be multiple moments building up to the eventual death of that character. I'm stretching the definition here, and i'm aware of it. When you show ...


6

A clear-cut example is Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers. It starts like this: —I did it. You’re really here. An astronaut. Jesus. —Who’s that? —You probably have a headache. From the chloroform. —What? Where am I? Where is this place? Who the fuck are you? —You don’t recognize me? —What? No. ...


5

A reader gets to imagine things a viewer is forced to see. I did not like the first part of The Lord of the Rings on film - my mental images were so much better. I skipped the rest. As an author you can trigger your reader's imagination in ways that aren't available to a filmmaker.


5

Tricks with the written words themselves Other answers gave many useful things you can tell with books, that would be harder or impossible with other media. Internal states, not showing something, different senses, multiple points of view, passage of time, "special effects" that would be visually beyond today's technology, or even simply beautiful prose... ...


5

There's nothing wrong with mentioning specific songs or tech in this way. And while it's not lazy writing to use songs as a tool for conveying a character's mood it is to rely on them solely. Expecting the reader to take them listening to a particular song as meaning they are sad just isn't going to work (unless you've already somehow established that as ...


5

The biggest difficulty with this idea is that from the moment the narrator calls a character me/I/myself, the reader will see the character and the narrator as the same person, and they won't stop seeing it that way unless you start a new chapter that refers to a different character in the first person (and are very careful to do this without making the ...


4

Fair warning: as a reader I have a pet peeve about onomatopoeia; I dislike it intensely as it tends to break my flow when reading. This is usually when non-word syllable strings are used rather than proper words but my aggravation carries over to all forms. You can use onomatopoeia in any genre - at least you certainly can if you're using a first person ...


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