Tag: movies

Want to Be a Better Writer? Watch more movies, read more books!

Want to Be a Better Writer? Watch more movies, read more books!

What? I’m telling you to go do something other than write? Well… yes.

The obvious response to how to be a writer is write. And I want to take a moment to remind you that being it doesn’t matter if you are published or not – if you write, and you love to write, you are a writer.

But, getting back to being a better writer – while writing is the biggest and most important thing you can do, I also believe that there is another important thing that people forget. I know I do sometimes.

You have to READ.

Now, most writers I know are also readers at heart. But sometimes you get to where you haven’t read anything in weeks or months. Work, family, writing, and all those other commitments take your time and you just keep that running to read list going, but you never cross anything off. (And I’m guilty. I carry a to read notebook in my purse. I’m WAY past the “list” stage.) The thing you have to remember is that reading is just as important as writing. Its both a way to help your brain take a break, breathe in some new motivation and creativity, and do some “business research.”

You have to expose yourself to other ideas and help stretch your imagination. If you’re very intent on what you’re writing currently, then by all means, finish and then do it. But make sure you do. I once had a critique partner who called it “refilling the word count.” She was right. After I finished LEARNING SPACE, I had a bit of a writing slump. I started a Nano project, but I couldn’t finish. My heart wasn’t in it. I hadn’t taken time to really think it through, and let myself recover from the other book. In doing this, you also need to make sure you are staying aware of what is out there in your genre. You need to be aware of other authors and books. Honestly, making connections with other writers is one of the best perks of the job! Tell them you love their book – you know how great it makes you feel, so make sure you do the same!

At the same time, try a few books outside of your genre. If you write YA novels, try something adult. If you write all horror, try a romance or a realistic fiction. I’m not a huge fan of realistic fiction (I get enough YA drama from the high school students at work), but I’ve tried a few and been pleasantly surprised! (If you haven’t read TEN MILES PAST NORMAL or THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, I highly recommend them!)

Never underestimate the power of the written word. Reading something I didn’t write and having my imagination stimulated by someone else’s words helped to jump start my own.

In addition to reading, I always love a good movie. I always see my books in a visual way – they play a bit like movies in my head. So watching movies really helps me. They transport you, they’re visual, and they’re fun. It doesn’t matter so much if its a “good” or “bad” movie. Some of the ones I watch over and over aren’t exactly high class entertainment. And some of them are. Some are in black and white. (Arsenic and Old Lace? Angel and the Badman?) And if there is a B or C SyFy movie – before we got rid of our cable, I’d have been watching it. They’re so bad sometimes, they’re funny. Except Sharknado. That one makes me feel like I’m leaking brain cells. For serious.

My favorite right now is probably Beauty and the Beast or the live action Cinderella. I love the costuming in those and the visuals. They’re just so pretty to look at!

What movies do you love? What book recommendations do you have for me?