Using Movies for Writing Inspiration

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Published: 09th January 2013
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Running out of ideas or writer’s block is one of the most embarrassing problems that writers come up with from time to time. With deadlines set by publishers hanging over their head, writers often tend to spend sleepless nights searching for a suitable plot. This is a very common phenomenon when even the most seasoned and celebrated writers run out of ideas and spend searching for the one that will make a good plot for a novel.

The best thing a writer can do in these situations is stop trying too hard and look for a break. This not only work wonders for the brain but will also provide him or her, a chance to look for plots elsewhere, if possible take cues from the real life. One of the best sources that can provide ideas of story-telling is the movies. With the myriad story lines and characters they cover, the opportunities for inspiration are endless.

The point that I want to prove is that there is no harm in borrowing ideas from movies and that too, remotely. For example, you may see a movie where the protagonist gets himself into a meaningless brawl that invites more trouble and subsequently unfurls a series of events that set the course of the movie, sending the character for a run. This might provide a unique plot where the central character, presumably a male runs into a stranger, obviously a woman, in the midst of the street all by chance. And this, later on takes the duo in the thick of certain incidents that coerce the couple into a relationship, giving rise to a fantastic plot of romance.

This has worked with many writers and some of them have even gone on record by confessing how a particular movie has inspired the person in writing a book that has gained the stature of a timeless classic subsequently.

Apart from drawing inspiration for creating plots, movies are great guides when it comes to setting the mood of a particular character or a set of characters. Yes, authors sketch the shades of characters of their stories out of their real life experience. However, the true shade of a typical character becomes extremely difficult to pen down. A certain character played by an actor or actress in a certain movie, mannerisms of that character portrayed on the screen help the authors visualize the character(s) in a more accurate way, making it easier for the author to portray the character. Movies therefore play a great role when it comes to providing writing inspiration to the authors.

This is probably the reason when at times you will find a striking resemblance between various characters in books and those in movies.
Coming to dialogues, watching a movie again can come to great help. In case you are at loss of words, while providing dialogues to your characters, a certain set of conversation between two or more characters can provide you a faint idea in dialogue writing for a particular character. The camera work that captures a particular place can provide you perfect backdrop for your next novel. You can have a clear idea of the features of that place from the movie and this may help you while doing adequate research on that place while using it for your next story. Even facial expressions, showed by the actors and actresses may give you enough ideas of describing and underlining certain emotional turnarounds by the characters of your novel.

If you, in future come across certain stories or novels that is patches resembles one of your favorite movies, do not get awe-struck. That is surely not a mere coincidence but an instance when the writer has, with utmost care and consciousness, taken a leaf or two out of the movie to create an imaginary world very much of his or her own! So, if you dare, get out your writing journal, and begin your own next story!

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