This post is also seen at Soul Mate Writer’s Blog.
This weekend, I had the great pleasure of seeing Big Hero 6. Once again, John Lasseter has shown us what an freakin’ genius he is with storytelling. (If you don’t know who he is, click the link–it’s an amazing story.) He’s got the touch for sure and it seems any project he’s on, he makes brilliant. In fact, when I watch a movie, I know if he’s involved our not. The story is tight, the characters make sense, the scenes are solid. If he’s not directing, he’s smart enough to know who to hire for which project and how to bring out the best in them, kind of like the main character, Hiro, in Big Hero 6.
Don’t we want that for ourselves as writers? Find that muse of sorts and tap into it when we’re thinking the story is going no where? When we’re staring at the same paragraph for half an hour (or have a day), trying to make sense of it and make it not suck?
This holds especially true this month because it’s National Novel Writing Month or affectionately called NaNo. Where many of us try and crank out that crappy first draft of a book that’s been sitting in our heads for too long.
One of the ways I get through my writer’s block is think of a movie. I absolutely love movies. They help me think, see the process, and as a writer, I can see who’s good on their storytelling and who’s just trying to make a buck. Even now, my oldest child and I will see a movie and talk about the high points, the dark moment, and how the little details were covered (or missed).
But there are times when words simply aren’t coming with any sort of flow. My work is stilted, bland, so that’s when I dig into my favorite movies and start rethinking how to write something. Usually, these movies involved many quotable quotes and I’m sure you’ve seen a few of them.
#1 Princess Bride–For any writer of romance, this movie is a must. Quotes are memorable and funny. The chemistry between Buttercup and Wesley is bone-melting.
#2 Sixteen Candles–No one captures teenage angst better than John Hughes. Body language cues abound in this fantastic movie about a girl who’s sixteenth birthday is forgotten by her family due to the chaos of their oldest child’s wedding.
#3 Mark of Zorro (1940)– I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie, but the chemistry between Tyrone Powers and Linda Darnell almost melts the screen. For some reason the embed code isn’t working, but the link works.
#4 Don Juan Demarco— A cult classic. Marlon Brando plays a soon-to-retire psychiatrist who’s last patient thinks he’s the famous lover, Don Juan deMarco (played by Johnny Depp). Is his patient crazy or is he the real thing? The detailed story that Depp weaves is vivid with sensory, but it’s the romantic journey that Brando and his wife takes that’s completely swoon-worthy. I watch this when I’m having trouble building sexual tension.
#5 Up!— One of the best movies I’ve ever seen. They storytelling could not be tighter and the geniuses at Pixar told an amazing amount of story in a beautiful montage about the lives of the characters Carl and Ellie Frederickson in the first ten minutes. If you’re not even a bit weepy by the end of that scene, you don’t have a romantic bone in your body.
Hopefully, thinking about one of these movies will help you through any block you might have.
What are some of your favorite movies when you’re down, need a pick me up, or just a good laugh?