I have noticed that so many things cause me to want to write. Reading a good book. A bad book. Sitting outside. Watching my kids. Smells. Tastes. Sensations. All of these are expected. What came unexpected to me was the affect movies have on my writing. In some ways they equal books, as far as inspiration.

Recently, my household watched Nim’s Island. Silly movie, that we all loved. Even the three year old! (of course the kids all thought Indiana Jones was in it!)

It got my head spinning with the need to write (hence the post the need to write). I began to pay attention to how much movies influence me. Whenever I am in a creative stump, I watch Penelope. This movie gets my imagination soaring!

I also realized that the novel I am currently writing I compare to two movies: Becoming Jane, and Atonement (the book is next in line for me). I do not compare it to any novels.  I was surprised to realize this!

Do movies influence the way you write? If so, which ones?

16 thoughts on “Movies.

  1. I prefer “deep thoughts about your life” type movies to help inspire me, like Little Miss Sunshine or American Beauty. But fun movies can help, too. Maybe I should give Nim’s Island a chance. 🙂

    1. I loved Little Miss Sunshine!
      I would never have seen Nim’s Island if I didn’t have the kids. But, I am glad I did. It is light and fluffy, but there is something creative in it. I have realized that that sparks me as much as emotions.

  2. I’ve never even heard of Nim’s Island myself, but now that you mention it movies really can be a big part of inspiration. Although, I’m not a huge movie buff, I usually find myself wanting to go see the latest special effects movie, you know the type the big sci-fi blockbuster or the over-the-top actioner. Seeing some of the special effects in those films can really be inspiring to me.

    I’ll agree with you there are so many different stimuli that, if don’t directly make me want to write, certainly give me inspiration. Whether it is watching movies or reading, staring at the sky, or watching squirrels in my back yard, I often find myself asking, how would I describe this if I was writing? Most of the time I never put the thoughts down to paper, but at least they still swim around inside my head.

  3. Whenever I see a movie with a strong story I’m inspired to write because I’m reminded that even though I have friends and family members that don’t read much fiction, everyone craves stories. Although I know people that don’t read many novels, all of them watch movies.

    This reminds me that those occasional readers will pick up books when there’s a compelling, page turning story.

    So I guess I would say I’m not motivated by movies per se, but the human need for stories to put life in context.

  4. anything and everything inspires me to write—something someone says or does, a private act i happen to see, and on and on..
    but movies are my #1 inspiration.
    i was a film minor for a while in college and i’m still the biggest movie buff. it’s ridiculous.
    i actually got the idea for the ending of my current novel from a completely random japanese film my guy and i rented. i didn’t steal it, per se, but the idea of the movie was so cool that i was thinking about it a lot afterward, and it slowly twisted into something else in my head and became the inspiration to the crazy, controversial ending of my book.

    I also agree with Cathryn (btw, amazing spelling of that name—i love c’s) about movies making you realize that everyone loves a good story. it’s so true.
    and anything can inspire.

    this is an interesting post =)
    now it’s got me thinking….

      1. i’ve considered it, but i don’t think i do.
        description is *apparently* what i’m best at, based on feedback, and i do quite enjoy writing it.
        i don’t think i could do bare bones wriing..
        i write while the action is playing out in my head—actually i see the action and i write what i see, is more like it…
        if i wrote a script, a movie could never live up to my own vision, i’m afraid…
        how about you??

  5. Great movies push me to write better, but then so do great books.

    I was in a writers group with a woman who said she only read non-fiction, didn’t like fiction, yet she was a big movie buff! I never understood her.

    I see my novels and stories played out like movies, don’t you? I could draw blueprints of their homes, maps of their towns, in fact, when I finish this one, I’ll use my portraiture skills to do graphite paintings of my three main characters.

    1. I know a screenplay writer who also does not read! I could never get my head around that!

      Yes, Linda, when I write I see my work as a film. Everyone who has read excperts of my novels sees them as films.
      It is wonderful you have the talent to do portraits of your characters! I would love it if you posted them.

  6. Of course, the ultimate visualization is your own imagination…that being said… I do the same thing! Movies are very much the same as books for me in a lot of ways! It is my contention that the reason for this is because movies, like books, simply tell a story. The two are not opposing polarities by any means other than visualization. Movies can make you laugh, cry, angry, or inspire you with fantastical tales.

    So can books.

  7. I recently watched “The curious Case of Benjamin Buttons,” and couldn’t help but think what a wonderful tall tale of a story.(I had not read the short story)

    So yes, movies do inspire me, but I like books a little because it requires more imagination in getting the description correct.

    1. Hi Bonnie, thanks for coming by! I haven’t seen Benjamin Button – I would like to. I critiqued a script once, boy, that was tough! It was so different, and I felt it actually more open to the imagination (or rather I suppose the director ultimately) because there were so many blanks. It seemed so different than writing fiction, I wouldn’t even know where to begin with writing that way. I am not certain for myself if one has a pull over more or not to get the writing flowing. I think they can be on par. Just this evening I was sitting outside, and just the perfect temperature and the birds had me wanting to rush in and hit the laptop. One can never know what will trigger it. 🙂

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