But that’s not what’s in the books!!!!!!!

I thought it might be a good idea to explain how I see the series so people will understand my perspective when I do posts about Outlander.

I last read the books through again just before MOBY came out. I haven’t cracked one open since. Ok that’s not entirely true; I was looking up a specific passage for an earlier blog so found it on my Kindle – but I don’t sit with the books open and compare back and forth! Likely I will read the current 8 again when the release date for book 9 is announced. I will own I am a book fan – but I’m also a series fan and they are TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES. I chose going into this whole thing to view them that way – another facet of a beloved story.

This is an ADAPTATION of Outlander….not an exact copy going from page to screen.

adaptation ad·ap·ta·tion (ād’āp-tā’shən) n. The acquisition of modifications in an organism that enable it to adjust to life in a new environment.

synonyms: alteration · modification · redesign · remodeling · revamping · reworking · reconstruction

By the very definition there are going to be differences. That is just fact. The BOOK of Outlander is the base for the series which is a completely different medium.

So far I have really, really enjoyed the differences between the book and the series. It’s a new way to see things, new perspective, and deeper ideas. I went in to this understanding that there would be differences and embracing that idea. I also have this perspective and have had since all the hoopla over casting. This is Diana Gabaldon’s creation. These are HER characters and HER story. She is very involved in this process and if SHE says Sam IS Jamie – then that is good enough for me. Same with Cait or any of the other casting. Same with the story.

As a writer working on my first novel, I can tell anyone that cares to listen there are volumes of backstory that are in my head or in my notes that are not in the novel itself. As big as the ‘Big Books’ for Outlander are, I’m sure this is still true. Diana may have events and history in her head which lead the characters to certain places that we as readers know nothing about. She may not, but given how complex and layered this lady tends to be, I think it’s a good guess that she does. There is just no way to get it all into a single book – there is so much stuff going on that the reader just doesn’t know about.

Given this bit of knowledge, I have to think that if Diana is ok with the changes in the show we should be too. Do we trust her or not? I mean…..while we are fans it IS her story.

Terry, Maril and Matt at least have all read the books. Ron has read up through the third book. Diana is very involved giving input and insight from her perspective. Ron has these people around him to let him know what repercussions certain changes might have on the overall story. I am trusting that they:

a) know what they are doing since they are quite successful in their fields

b) have a vision that will move things forward in a way I might not be able to see yet

c) will give us the very best show they can

So, when I blog or make comments about the show, this is the perspective I’m coming from. I understand that it is not going to follow the books word for word. I also understand that not everyone sees things the same way. Jamie does something in the series that person A thinks is totally out of character while person B thinks it’s absolutely in character and C hadn’t thought about him ever doing such a thing but are ok with it and thousands of variations. The creative team can’t please everyone. Diana doesn’t please everyone – she just writes the story as she sees it. When people don’t like something she’s written she pretty much says ‘tough’. I’m ok with that – it’s HER story. We can give our input to the creative team via emails and twitter and blogs and such – but they can’t please everyone nor should they try to. Watch the show and enjoy it, debate it, compare it to the book where it varies – open dialog and debate is a great thing. I just get sad when people get nasty and they are so busy tearing things apart that they can’t enjoy this new and wondrous facet to and old and faithful friend.



13 thoughts on “But that’s not what’s in the books!!!!!!!

  1. Candida_LN says:

    Hi, Ryna. I completed my first novel this past December, so I know exactly what you mean. In addition, I’ve come to appreciate and respect books more than ever. They aren’t just words on pages with binding. Each book represents a writer’s passion, time, sweat, sanity, and love.

    If it was easy. Everyone would do it.

    Good luck!

  2. hernameisamanda says:


  3. Yes. Beautifully put.
    What burns me is the sense of entitlement certain people display when the show does something they personally don’t agree with. It’s great that they’ve been fans of the series for 20+ years; that does not mean Ron Moore will ask for your input.
    I seriously had to block some on a FB page because the same few people kept saying “fake” “made up” “wrong” about diversions from the book. A certain admin even goes so far as to argue with Diana on Twitter about what her character would and would not do. While I do believe in the concept of “death of the author”…that’s just arrogant. You’re not as cute as you think, lady.
    If the changes make them as unhappy as they seem, I truly wonder why they watch?

    • rynawolfe says:

      I haven’t had to block people yet – I don’t have that many followers LOL – and so far (knock on wood) I haven’t seem to have attracted any nasty or negative nellies! I don’t mind opinions and honest debate but I won’t put up with nastiness. I too wonder why they watch if the changes bother them so much. Thanks so much for the read and taking the time to comment. Cheers!

    • Maryanne Baer says:

      I agree, people need to stop bashing the series and if they read the books, they will enjoy the series. Ron and the cast and crew have done an amazing adaptation of the book. This series of books have been in my collection from the beginning. I am very happy to have Jamie Fraser brought to life and I think Sam Heughan has done an amazing job bringing him to life. It seems there are always going to be naysayers in everything but they need to know that too much whining and complaining about how things were left out or changed may have other effectsthan that which they intended. Keep your negative opinions to yourself and if you don’t like the changes, then turn off the tv and watch some other show. Don’t ruin the enjoyment of Outlander for the fans who can see the amazing series for what it is👏👏👏👏👏💗💗💗💗💗

      • rynawolfe says:

        I don’t mind people expressing disappointment or frustration at all – good discussion can greatly enrich the experience. My issue is with HOW they express themselves. To me Ron isn’t WRONG (as some people have said) he is being true to HIS vision which the author (for the most part) approves on and it just doesn’t happen to match up with what certain readers felt was important. They could SO talk up the books if they’d do it right – instead I’m afraid they are turning people off to the show completely and that is a concern.

  4. wanda Upton says:

    I have read the books.What I have issue with is # 10 I know sex is in the books.And the wedding is one of my favorite.But come on it was very tacky to show Jamie the way they did.You should not have to put sex in every time. The Books and the T.V.Show has been great up till then .Please don’t throw sex in just to have it in.THAT’S CHEAP. And it’s to good.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I really don’t think they’ve been throwing sex in ‘just because’. I’m not sure which specific thing you are unhappy with. Roy has said many times if the sex isn’t important/won’t move things forward, it won’t be there. There is a whole contingent out there that would like to see MORE sex. I’m not one of them, I think the show is really well balanced, but there is that group.

  5. Shelley Shackelford says:

    Thank You, thank you! Although I am fairly recent coming to the world of Outlander, I like to think I have made up for my lack of longevity with passion and dedication. I’m on my third read-through since late October and loving every moment. You said it well, eloquently and tactfully direct. I trust the “powers that be” to bring us an accurate, yet still compelling story – after all, these are the people who found our beloved Sam/Jamie and Caitriona/Claire, two people who I believe were born to bring these characters to life! Carry on, Ron, et al. If Herself trusts you with her precious creation, who are we to argue?!

  6. Peggy Colgin says:

    I agree with all you have said. I don’t mind it when the show varies from the books. This is TV and an adaptation!!! People who gripe and complain about changes need to get a life.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thanks for the comment. As I’ve said, I don’t mind respectful discussion and debate. I agree though that people need to understand it WILL be different and not stress about it quite so much.

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