The advantage of prose over movies/TV

Because I think in our media-saturated world we often forget that there are advantages of the written word that we can leverage to become better writers. And yes, there are advantages to movies, but do people realize the advantage of prose?

Example: We can evoke touch, smell, and taste in the reader. Movies and books can do sound, visuals, but it often is missing the other three. Take advantage of it. It’s not only immersive, but you’re leveraging their memory and imagination.

Anyone else want to add others?

It’s cheaper to write than film/animate

This is somewhat related to the OP, and not necessarily true for all readers, because we can have different mental processes, but generally, with prose, the reader is free to imagine what a character looks and sounds like. Even if a character is described, readers who have ability to visualize in their “mind’s eye” can still come up with different imagined faces or bodies because their own brain will fill in details.

Similarly, some readers may start to “hear” dialogue or narration as if a specific person were saying it.

This isn’t true in audio/video works where there’s specific casting.

It makes the experience for the readers personalized, without the writer putting more effort into tailoring anything.

Technique-wise, with books it allows you to be more “realistic” rather than “what looks good.” For example, with a fight scene, you can talk about the more realistic, rather than what looks good fight scene. So instead of an army charging over open shiny water like a huge moving target asking to be mauled down in a few seconds, you can make the internal life of the characters a lot more interesting by doing things like sneak attacks, which aren’t pretty on screen, but are far more interesting in books.

The big thing: reading. People swear you can learn exactly the same from watching a movie than reading and that’s just not true. There is true power in reading. Prose nurtures it

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It’s a lot easier to drop interior thoughts into prose than it is television. In television it looks awkward, but with prose you can do it throughout without it being so terrible.

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I think this mostly applies to movies but runtime can be a problem. Things have to be cut or shortened, like the training montage which can come across as cheap in a way?? Books on the other hand can write all those individual scenes out, and take the readers more in depth on the protagonist’s journey.

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