Three of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Matt Damon, have just completed a re-make of the 1969 movie, True Grit. If you're old enough to remember the original - or stay up late watching old movies - you know the movie's story line.
What may surprise you is that the movie was adapted for the screen from a novel of the same name, the novel published in 1969. And even more surprisingly, the novel was serialized in a slightly different form in 1968 by The Saturday Evening Post.
The written version of True Grit, written by Charles Portis, is told in first person by a nettlesome spinster, Mattie Ross. At fourteen, Mattie seeks to avenge her father's death at the hands of a scurrilous drifter, Tom Chaney. Chaney has left the Ross properties and is now a member of an outlaw band. Mattie seeks out a marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to track down Chaney. With that established, the story's remainder should be left to the movie - or the book, if you want to experience it from the standpoint of Mattie as a spinster.
What's interesting here from a writer's standpoint is the circuitous path the story took - from a magazine serial to a novel to a movie, its remake and several sequels. I don't know the story's history firsthand, but I suspect that serialization in the SEP, then a widely read publication, drew the attention of someone in the movie biz, which led to the story's re-publication as a novel, as well as the famous movie.
Writers, the path to commercial success is never a predictable one, but at some point it always demands exposure. Be open to that in whatever form it may appear.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.