Sunday, June 15, 2008


I love movies. Not so much going to the movies...which costs a small fortune these days...but watching movies at home. In the winter my husband and I curl up on the couch to watch a movie four to five times a week. This weekend a girlfriend and I threw our third annual outdoor movie party. (This year's selection was "Grease"...which was a total blast from the past!)

Movies provide more than entertainment, though. To a writer, a movie can help to create a visual for character growth, plot development, and even goal, motivation and conflict.

I recently attended a workshop given by Blythe Gifford, whose latest release, "Innocence Unveiled" is available in stores now. (I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list!) She used the movie "Pretty Woman" to illustrate the concepts of creating layers in your book to develop the plot, character arcs, and the romance arc in a story.

Another movie I've heard mentioned for a great example for romance plotting, is "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days". (And with this one you get to watch yummy Matthew McConaughey....which makes it worth the while right there!)

Obviously I'm not saying to plagerize these stories for your own work, , but they do provide great examples of how a romance plot works with external and internal conflicts (among other things crucial to great story development).

Movies are also great for simply looking at characters and how they interact and what they do. Watch the actions of the main characters. What do they do while they're speaking? How do they react in stressful situations? Joyful situations? What expressions are on their faces? Do they gesture? After watching a movie, try to find the words to describe these things. Make your writing as visual as a motion picture.

So, the next time you slide a DVD into the player and crank up the surround sound, remember that while you relax and enjoy, you can also be perfecting your craft.

Until next time,


coming this summer from The Wild Rose Press
electronic release 7/30/08
print release 8/29/08

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

I've watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days zillions of times. It's one of my favorites. Then again, I'm a sucker for romance stories.
Morgan Mandel