There is nothing more frustrating than reading a book or watching a movie that falls flat on its face. As viewers and readers we want to watch and read material that does its job, that knows what it is supposed to be doing in the world. As writers, our goal should be to create pages that can stand up and support their own weight. What does that mean, exactly? It means that if we know the genre we are working in, and follow the rules that are expected to be followed within that genre, then we will have pages that work and that can stand up on their own.
Let me pick on a popular movie to make my point. Twilight. What a disaster. I've read all four books and then went to see the movie. If you haven't read the book, you won't understand the movie. The movie was nothing more than an exercise to see the characters from the book come to life on the big screen; putting a name to a face, so-to-speak. There was no character development, no plot development; it was just one short summary of the book. The movie hit most of the books highlights but did not put them in context, which caused the viewer to say, "Oh, they are leaving so her dad will be safe; I remember now." This is bad! You should not cause your viewer or reader to have to 'read-in' to the text. It should be able to stand up on its own legs and not be dependent on an outside source for life.
If you are writing a book, don't be a Twilight! Make sure your characters are developed, make sure your theme/thesis is fully supported and put in context, and above all, don't use crutches in the form of another book or movie to carry you along. Take the time to understand what you are doing and the weight that your book is carrying.
I've started a new video series, It's All About the Page. You can check it out on my web site at www.writewithgrace.com The videos are free and they are designed to give you the tools you need to write a book that works. Don't just write, Write With Grace!