On True Blood

Adapt–or Die!

By Ginjer Buchanan
Alan and I have a good relationship. I don’t tell him how to write his series, and he doesn’t tell me how to write my books.
–Charlaine Harris

I looove the Oscars. It’s the only awards show I watch. I love the dresses and the montages and the hosts’ lame attempts to be funny and the presenters’ cheesy dialogue and the sometimes-actually-moving winners’ speeches.

Beforehand, I read all the pre-ceremony coverage in Entertainment Weekly and People and other such publications. For years I’ve run the Oscar Pool at work. The night of the broadcast, I sit in a comfy chair with a blank Oscar Pool form in front of me and carefully note all the winners as they’re announced. From Best Supporting Actor to Best Sound Mixing, I applaud them all. And, as an editor of words, the “and the winner is” announcements that I am most interested in hearing are the ones for the writing awards–Best Original Screenplay and Best Adaptation.

Adaptation: that’s the watch-word for this essay.

A few years back, novelist Larry McMurty and his writing partner Diana Ossana won in the Adaptation category for their screenplay based on the short story “Brokeback Mountain.” I’m sure than many of you saw the movie (which should have won Best Picture, IMHO), but did you read the Underlying Intellectual Property? It is, as I said, a short story, by literary luminary Annie Proulx. It was originally published in the New  …

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