Wednesday, July 13

It's All In The Details

Those of you who are regulars here already know this but, in my oh-so-humble opinion, The Princess Bride is the best book/movie combo out there. Seriously. Twilight? Pales in comparison. The Princess Diaries? Inconceivable!

My favorite part of The Princess Bride - book, not movie - is the introduction. Sure, the actual description of The Pit of Despair is amazeballs. But the introduction is killer. It's the part where the author goes on for pages and pages about how bad the first book was and how confusing that was as a kid because he didn't know his dad was 'only reading the good parts'. I've often wished there was some kind of master list of the good parts of books. Wouldn't that be something? Then, rather than reading 50 pages of what it felt like to be at sea, we could just read about the actual fight with "Moby Dick".

And that brings me to my point: the parts of books I really, really like. No, not the sex parts, I knew you were thinking that since I write and primarily read romance. Actually, the sex scenes can get boring. The Good Parts, those parts that make my eyes roll back in my head, drool dripping from the corner of my mouth, rarely occur during the smexy scenes.

So, what are the Good Parts to me? Unlike the sections that were included in Goldman's "Princess Bride", most of my swoon-worthy scenes are emotional in nature, not action-y. Don't get me wrong, I love a good gun battle, sword fight, or cliff-hanging moment. But when authors get the emotion right, I just cry. Happiness, sadness, excitement...jealousy. You name it. Kristina's over there in a puddle of tears.

Here's my example: In the movie version, after Westley is determined dead by pirates, the narrator says: "Buttercup took to her room and didn't come out for days." Okay, she's sad about losing her love. I may sigh a little for her.

But the book version had me reaching for the tissues: At first her parents tried to lure her, but she would not have it. They took to
leaving food outside her room...There was never noise inside, no wailing, no bitter sounds. And when at last she came out, her eyes were dry. ...The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser...This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering.

"You're all right?" her mother asked.

"Yes." There was a very long pause. "But I must never love again."

I know, I abbreviated - this is a blog, not a book. But isn't that so much...more in the book than in that single line from the movie?

So, what are your favorite parts of books?

6 comments:

  1. Great post, Kristi! I am so with you about the emotional parts being my favorites--the ones where you truly see the heart of the characters. Yes! But, you know I also love a good world-building scene, where the author puts you right there in the world of the story. You can feel the wind and sand in your face or see the stars of a vast empty space around an alien planet. Wow--those knock me out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agree totally, Nan! I say world-building scenes are my second favorite...but they are a realllllllllly close second!

      Delete
  2. Great post! As much as I love the smexy stuff, it falls flat without the rest of the book... the emotional build, conflict, dark moment, joy/sorrow for the characters. And, though they have their own good points, movies can never do this as well as books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agree, agree, agree. Love a little smex...but the emotion needs to be there, and stronger. :D

      Delete
  3. I love the post and I totally agree. My favorite (for now) is one of Kristan Higgins' where the heroine goes to the person she knew she could always count on--her stepmother. I can't remember even which book, but the emotion in the scene was almost palpable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just found Kristan Higgins (I know, where has she been all my life?!!?)...she does emotion so.freaking.well!

      Delete