Hey, book lovers.
So a little while ago I reviewed a book called Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. You might recognise the cover as looking a little bit like this.
It really is a beautiful book, and so as one of our units for my degree (I’m studying Creative Writing, in my first year, in case you didn’t already know) is called Writers Reading and is literally as the name says, it’s a creative piece about our reading, we have the option to write an adaptation piece of a story or world that already exists. We can do something that links to the kind of thing we like to read if we want, so we can be vague, but I’ll be honest I just really liked the idea of using the world that has already been created in some of my favourite books.
There’s a big debate behind this, one that was actually brought up in one of our seminars- is it cheating to use the world or characters that has already been created by another writer and to make your own piece out of this? From a personal angle, I believe it is perfectly fine to use another writer’s creations so long as you do not go too far as to plagiarise or to make the story pretty much exactly the same as it already is in their book. If you’re not planning to publish or make any kind of profit out of it, I think you are fine. And to be honest, I wouldn’t call it cheating. I’ve heard some say that it’s lazy, that it’s too easy to use a world that has already been created, but I think it is just as difficult as writing an original piece because you’re still having to adapt your piece to fit the character’s voice or style. But this can be enjoyable, if you really love a certain fictional world, why not have a go at writing a story with some of the characters in it, just for entertainment purposes? But this is a big topic. Please feel free to let me know what you all think in the comments, if you would like to discuss your own opinions.
So I’m writing my own adaptation short story piece of Rebecca for my second Writers Reading assessment. And, I’ll admit, it’s a lot of fun. I had a little plan for my own idea of what the story would entail from the beginning, but I always like to have a bit of free-reign in my pieces so I try not to plan too much. I’m not planning to publish it after it’s finished, because I do not feel it is fair on the author to publically use another writer’s work for my own purposes other than to read it, but I do really enjoy writing it. My story is set after the end of the book, after the fire. Emilia De Winter is the twenty-one year old daughter of Maxim De Winter and his second wife, the narrating heroine of the book, and she visits the ruins of Manderley with her fiance, James, much to the displeasure of her father. But while she is there, she discovers the eerie voice of the late Mrs Danvers, and then the ghost of her father’s first wife when she travels to the cottage. Seeing it only as a game, Rebecca entrances James and almost leads him to his death.
Adaptations are a lot of fun. I’d never done them before uni, but now I’m really glad I’ve given them a try!