5 Movies All Writers Must Watch About Writing

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Hitting a wall with your writing? Your eyes too strained from staring at a bright screen or a blank piece of paper for reading?

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Sometimes what our writing needs is for us to step back and relax for a bit. And what better way to renew our writing inspiration than to watch a movie (or five) about writing?

While all these movies about writing are entertaining, you’ll find new strategies worth applying to your work.

Capote

Movies About Writers 1

 

How far are you willing to go for your writing?

Famous writer Truman Capote decides to document the account of a murder of a Kansas family in what will become In Cold Blood. The twist? Capote develops a close relationship with one of the killers.

What to Take Away: What current event can you turn into a strong narrative? How close are you willing to get to the story?

Midnight in Paris

Movies About Writers 2

What if writers from the past could read your work? What would they say? Would they like it?

In one of Woody Allen’s many movies about writers, a successful but creatively unfulfilled and nostalgic Hollywood screenwriter struggles to finish his first novel while vacationing with his fiancée in Paris. He stumbles upon an opportunity to go back to the 1920s every midnight to experience the decade with his favorite writers, learning more about his novel draft and his writing craft with every passing night.

What to Take Away: Take notes on what your favorite writers do successfully in their stories. How can you apply their tactics to your work? What would they say about your writing? Would their advice be applicable to your work?

Stranger Than Fiction

Movies About Writers 3

Sometimes tapping into the creative process of another writer is what we need to break our own writer’s block.

An IRS auditor, who lives a very rigid life, suddenly hears a voice in his head narrating his every move. He is urgent to find the narrator when the voice states his impending death. It turns out that the narrator is a best-selling author writing her next book–but is suffering from writer’s block when it comes to killing him.

What to Take Away: How does the author in the movie tackle and break her writer’s block? Can you use the same strategies in your own work?

Sideways

Movies About Writers 4

Do you feel that your writing is insignificant? Rejections bringing you down?

In this movie, an English teacher (and unsuccessful writer), at the brink of a mid-life crisis, takes his soon-to-be-married actor friend and college roommate on a road trip through wine country just before he walks down the aisle. While one is seeking out another fling, the other is seeking out his worth as a writer.

What to Take Away: How does he deal with his doubt? Have you felt the same way? What questions should you ask yourself when you doubt your writing?

His Girl Friday

Movies About Writers 5

 

Not all movies about writing focus on crafting long stories.

A hard-boiled editor for a large newspaper learns that his ex-wife and former star reporter plans to marry a bland insurance man and move to the suburbs. Instead of accepting the facts, he tries every trick in the book to win her back as a reporter and as his wife–all through a breaking news story.

What to Take Away: Notice how quickly they must write to get the story out? How can you do this in areas you are struggling to write?

 

Did I miss any? What is your favorite movie about writing or writers? List your go-to flicks below.

5 thoughts on “5 Movies All Writers Must Watch About Writing

  1. I’d like to add the David Cornenberg adaptation of “Naked Lunch” to the list. It’s surreal and full of disturbing imagery, but it captures a writer’s anxiety in a fascinating, abstract way.

  2. I saw Stranger than Fiction for the first time last summer. Midnight in Paris is one of my all-time favorites. Love the list! 🙂

    Also, I’d like to nominate you for the ABC Award (Awesome Blog Content). You can get the details at http://wp.me/p14ywJ-S8. Congratulations, and I hope you can accept! 🙂

  3. Does Sideways have a happy ending? I know that’s a stupid question, but someone just gave me a review and said my junk reminded them of “Sideways”-and I’ll I can remember about the film was the friendly mechanic from wings having a failing acting career and ruining his friend’s idea of a peaceful trip while trying to have sex with everyone in NAPA valley. -(I just wonder if it’s great for this list?-perhaps a defense that prompts another “push” through the movie–Also-how do you feel about “Wonder Boys”-I know its lame but really like Spiderman in that one. Ha. I couldn’t resist. Also-the Nick Cage one where he horribly plays twins-“Adaptation?” None of the film’s I mentioned obviously belong on this list-but maybe an interesting mention-Also a statement about how “junk sells”. Great blog btw.

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