Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Friday, August 21, 2009

Movies as Inspiration

One of my critique partners recently referenced an author she loves and compared her writing style and comedy to one of her favorite movies – It Happened One Night. I love this movie and I find that I am drawn to the movies made prior to my birth, or shortly thereafter, as opposed to some more recent offerings. Our discussion took a new path to favorite actors and movies. Personally, I don’t think Cary Grant has ever made a movie I did not like.

This in turn reminded me of a book I had read. It was maybe three years ago, or longer, and for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the author or the title. I loaned the book and never got it back. This was a historical romance, medieval period, but as I was reading it, all I could think of was that the story was Arsenic and Old Lace, though the book wasn’t called that. It was a wonderful read and I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed watching one my favorite Cary Grant movies. And, at the back of the book, this author gave complete credit to Arsenic and Old Lace.

What about you? Has a movie, or perhaps series of movies, ever influenced your story? Do you find yourself using a tone or a style from a beloved movie?

Also, if anyone knows the book I referenced or the author, please let me know. It is driving me nuts that I can’t remember.


  1. Movies definitely inspire me to get back to my writing. I'm not sure that they infuse a tone or style, though, they just seem to get me motivated again.

  2. I'm not sure what book you are talking about, but I'm inspired by movies, and music, and books, and... Anywhere we look, we can find inspiration.

  3. I can say that after seeing How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days I had a new respect for the conflict being two people at cross purposes. (Although the premise of the movie was a little far-fetched.) That strengthened my writing quite a bit.

  4. i lked the movie somewhere in time...about finding that one true love but they weren't living in the same generation...don't know the name of your movie. sorry.

  5. I don't know if a plot in itself has inspired me, but I love watching movies and seeing why they're successful. Or not. It's a great exercise. :-)
    I'm sorry, I don't know what movie it is either.

  6. I love so many movies. My inspiration probably comes from a blending of many.

  7. I'm constantly inspired by movies, other books and real life.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love discovering new blogs to read.

  8. I totally use movies as resources for writing.

    First desecting them for plot points, which I learned from Michael Haugue (screenplaymastery.com). If you take time to watch the director's commentary you learn so much.

    Movies can also help you transition to the mood you need for writing a scene.

  9. Amy, thanks for stopping by my blog! I definitely use movies for inspiration. In fact, my new WIP came to me while watching the movie Remember Me, a fun little romance. I've gotten so many ideas while watching movies. It also helps with characters. I watch the movements the actors make and their mannerisms and it helps to make my characters more realistic. Cary Grant is great!

  10. A character on CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT with Barbara Stanwyck directly influenced one of my characters in my last novel. I just loved him so much that I figured he needed to live again in my story. :-)

    I'm a big fan of classic movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. LOVE Cary Grant, too!

  11. Eileen, I agree that movies can be inspirational but I haven't pinpointed why for me yet.

    Lazy, I have found music can be an inspiration too. I am drawn more to the instrumentals because I can put my own story with it instead of lyrics influencing me.

    Stephanie, great movie reference. I had not thought about that one in awhile. but you are right, talk about conflict.

    Lin, I haven't seen Somewhere in Time in years. Great movie.

    Jessica, some great ideas can come from watching plots play out, even the not so good ones, because we can think of ways to make it better. Yes, it is a great exercise.

    Diane, I like that, the blending. A little bit of this, a little bit of that - put it all together and one great story.

  12. Heather, I am so glad you stopped by.

    Tina, I was unfamiliar with Michael Haugue (screenplaymastery.com). I will have to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

    Cindy, I agree, movies are great for characterization. I am always looking for actions to give my characters, quirks, or expressions, ways of walking, how do they talk with their hands. Movies are great places to get ideas.

    Melissa, I am going to have to watch Christmas in Connecticut again. It has been so long.

  13. Ooooh! Movies and writing- favorite subjects of mine.

    Christmas in Connecticut is also a favorite. I have to ask, Melissa: which character did you borrow from?

    I wish I could give you specifics, but nothing comes to mind right away.

    I often find myself watching character's gestures. When I'm writing, I discover a new gesture, and it's not till I read through the MS that I discover I had everyone smiling a certain way, or running fingers through their hair (actually I've never done THAT one...) or, you get the idea. So I like to watch movies or shows and see how different characters express different emotions.