Shows and Movies to Inspire Writers

Need some inspiration to get you started on your next piece?


When I’m writing, trying to write, or stuck not being able to write, I often need some inspiration. This inspiration can often come from reading my own writing or the work of my favorite authors, but for me reading is a time-consuming endeavor. I like to sit down and read for as long as possible, which can often engulf hours of my time. But, when I need to get some writing done, nothing keeps me “in the mood” like movies or television shows about writers writing, that I can play or binge watch and simply zone out while I get some work done. Sometimes the writing can play a small part, sometimes it’s the major plot point, while other times there is no writing at all, but a writer struggling with their own demons that compel them to write or are derived from their writing.

In the grand scheme of things, there are A LOT of movies and shows about writers, but (at least for me) only certain ones give me that “I’m ready to become a prolific (or struggling) author like that guy,” feeling. Here is a list, in no particular order, detailing some of the most inspiring television shows and movies about writers and their writing that inspire the hell out of me.


  1. A Fantastic Fear of Everything mv5bmtyznju3ntawof5bml5banbnxkftztgwnti5mdy5mde-_v1_sy1000_cr006781000_al_
    1. Simon Pegg stars as a troubled crime novelist who has become a paranoid agoraphobic after his extensive research into Victorian era serial killers. It’s funny and clever, and it’s Simon Pegg. Enjoy.
  2. Author’s Anonymous
    1. Kaley Cuoco and Chris Klein star opposite one another in a tale about the varying “types” of writers (who’ve formed a weekly writer’s group), all with different motivations and commitment, but all with the same dream. What this story does best is show that not all writers are the same and exposes how inspiration and dedication to the craft can often go unrecognized due to societal expectations and industry bias.
  3. The Words
    1. A star-studded cast features Dennis Quaid entertaining an audience with his fictional tale about a young author (Bradley Cooper), who finally finds success in his writing after finding and publishing an aged manuscript that wasn’t his own. Could Dennis Quaid’s character be regaling us with a piece of fiction with autobiographical roots….?
  4. Bag of Bonesbag_of_bones_miniseries
    1. Following the death of his wife, a published author (Pierce Brosnan) retreats to his cabin in a small lake-town, where he soon receives paranormal visitations, is drawn into a strange custody battle, and must learn a secret about his own bloodline that will haunt him forever. A lesser known Stephen King adaptation.
  5. The Secret Window
    1. Another Stephen King classic about a writer (Johnny Depp) dealing with presumably false claims of copyright infringement by a deranged and violent psychopath who stalks him wherever he goes.
  6. Misery
    1. One of the most recognized of Stephen King’s adaptations, Misery follows the story of a renowned children’s author (James Caan) who is rescued from a car crash only to find himself held hostage by a psychotic super-fan (Kathy Bates) who’s not afraid to get a little rough to keep him around.
  7. Stranger Than Fiction
    1. Stranger Than Fiction was a tale I thought I would hate because of my rash assumption that anything serious Will Ferrell stars in must be garbage. I was pleasantly surprised by the quirky narrative about a man who hears a woman narrating his everyday life, revealing how the simple act of resetting his trusty watch would result in his imminent death.
  8. Midnight in Paris
    1. Another tale I thought would be ruined by the actor playing the protagonist, Midnight in Paris follows Owen Wilson as a screenwriter who, upon visiting Paris, finds himself mysteriously transported to the 1920’s and is even given the opportunity to meet with some of the most prolific author’s from that time.
  9. Castle
    1. After a serial killer recreates a murder from one of his novels, the author (played by Nathan Fillion, one of my favorite actors) is allowed to tag along on the investigation, resulting in a semi-serious crime series like Law & Order, but with a light, literary feel.
  10. CalifornicationCA_S1_GI113915SC_V2_HR
    1. One of my all-time favorite stories about a writer, Californication follows author Hank Moody after the success of his first novel, who must work on his follow-up while dealing with fatherhood, vindictive relationships with the love of his life and other various women, and a critical need to indulge in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. All of which usually get in the way of his writing and being a good father.
  11. Hector and the Search for Happiness
    1. Another Simon Pegg tale about a psychiatrist who finds himself in the strange place of telling others how to be happy, when he himself far from it. His life isn’t a bad one, just a bit mundane. On a whim, and at the risk of losing his job, his wife, and life as he knows it, makes the decision to travel the world to discover what makes people happy, hoping to find out what will bring himself happiness. While the plot is predictable, his journey is interesting, awe inspiring, and motivating enough to embark on your own search for happiness.
  12. Generation Kill919burer6kl-_ac_ul320_sr228320_
    1. An odd addition to the list, but Generation Kill is an enthralling HBO series following a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine as he is embedded with a platoon of 1st Recon Marines over in Iraq during the 2003 assault on Baghdad. This is by far one of the most intriguing tales simply because of its splendid melding of fleshed out characters, the seriousness of war and the toll it takes on soldiers, and the hilarity of those soldiers simply doing their best to cope with the shitty situations they often find themselves in. Stay Frosty.

Honorable Mentions:

In this respect, an honorable mention is a movie or series based on a book, but doesn’t have to be about writing. Those types of fiction inspire me because I find myself analyzing each line and scene, asking myself “How would they have written that?” and “How would I have written that?” Here’s a few of the endless honorable mentions:

  1. Fight Club
  2. The Shawshank Redemption 
  3. Goodfellas
  4. The Lord of the Rings Series
  5. The Harry Potter Series
  6. The Shining 
  7. Dexter
  8. Game of Thrones
  9. Full Metal Jacket
  10. Sherlock (BBC)

 

Now, go out there, get inspired, and write something damnit!

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The First of Many: A FREE, Ghost-Free Time

“Eugene is teeming with ghosts and for some stupid, God damn reason, I’m the only who can see them.”

Since releasing my first novel, friends and family always seem to ask one common question: “When’s your next book coming out?” And while, yeah, that question can become taxing, it can also be inspiring. For the longest time not having an exact answer to that question only exacerbated my anxiety, but it also forced me go home, sit down in front of my computer and start typing away until I finally had something to talk about. Which brings me to why we’re all here, reading this article. Today I finally have an answer to that question. “What’s Next?”

Well, let me tell you!

To satiate my writing lust while I work on penning my next great novel, I wanted to do something that was shorter, easier for readers to pick up and enjoy, while still giving everyone the most bang for their buck. The best way I could find to do this is to start writing short stories, which is honestly difficult for me, but I’ll talk about that in another post. It’s always been easier for me to find the thick novel in every idea, but writing short stories is a completely different beast and I think found a way to entice readers by using an episodic format. By writing an episodic series I can still plot out the long over-arching story, while still focusing on writing a complete tale in a fraction of the pages. In conjunction with Emerald Inkwell, we decided that the easiest way to get these stories into the hands of readers is to make them digital. Traditional print books are still our favorite (and there’ll be more to come) but eBooks are easier to publish, especially when short, and it gave us the opportunity to offer the first episode, the “Pilot,” absolutely FREE! (great for readers and great for spreading the word!) That way readers can introduce themselves to any of the episodic worlds I create without any hesitation and find out which stories interest them before continuing on with the series. So, without further ado, the first Emerald Original Series I bring to you is a supernatural adventure taking place in Eugene, Oregon and is inspired by many types of popular paranormal fiction. Enjoy!

Cover-tweaked


For a Ghost-Free Time, CallCover - For A Ghost-Free Time Ep1jpg

Description:

At the young age of nine, Jared developed the unnatural ability to see the lingering spirits of the dead, and beyond its initial novelty, all it’s ever done is piss him off. After having to grow up rather quickly on his own, Jared took something that would have easily driven most people insane and found a way to use his unwelcomed gift to his advantage. He studied and took notes from the most prevalent movies and television shows, and armed with every mainstream supernatural trope and cliché he could find, started his very own—more or less legitimate—ghost removal service. With years of hit-or-miss cons and a number of temporary solutions to combat the most crippling aspects of his “gift,” Jared finally found a way to live a “normal” life and a way to fit in with society. However, one day, while working a routine job for a rich mark, Jared will be confronted with his own lies and a glimpse of the truth behind the world around him and his abilities.

For a Ghost-Free Time, Call is available on iBooks / Nook / Kindle apps and devices!

For news and updates regarding For a Ghost-Free Time, Call keep an eye on the product page HERE or follow Emerald Inkwell on Facebook!

And as an added bonus, The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror (4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon!) is available until August 31st for only .99c (a $2 discount!) on Kindle apps and devices ! So, if you didn’t get a chance to experience The Drive Home earlier this year, now’s the time to grab it for only .99c! Enjoy!

National Tell a Story Day!

America is filled with obscure holidays and random reasons to celebrate, but a number of them are near and dear to me and my passion for storytelling. On top of that, certain holidays even have the potential to do something good, if not great. National Tell a Story Day is one of those days that truly has the potential to do some great in this world.

Things like illiteracy and shortened attention spans have ravaged recent generations (mine included) and finding those who enjoy reading is becoming more and more difficult. Years ago, I nearly fell into that bottomless pit. Not because I didn’t know how or because I hated reading, but because the world of entertainment has been evolving so drastically that other things would snag my attention and my bookshelf started to collect dust. Instead of picking up a book, I’d watch a movie or play a video game–all valid ways to indulge our human need to tell and be told stories–but it took something away from my imaginative process. It wasn’t nearly as gratifying as creating a new world in my own mind, simply based on a few words on a page.

While National Tell a Story Day is based on the Scottish and European equivalent in October, America’s version takes place six months earlier in the year. It encourages all forms of storytelling written, verbal, visual, fiction, non-fiction, whatever! And it should be celebrated more widely.


National Tell a Story Day is the American counterpart of the Scottish and UK holiday of the same name, but is not to be confused with World Storytelling Day. World Storytelling Day is a celebration of the art of oral storytelling, helping keep the traditions of passing stories down through the generations. World Storytelling Day takes place on March 20th, a little over a month prior to National Tell a Story Day.


In honor of today, April 27th – National Tell a Story Day, I took steps working with my publisher to put together a limited time offer based around my debut novel The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror. So, for all the world, right now, you can pick up the kindle edition of The Drive Home absolutely FREE. Boot up your Kindle device or app and hunt down The Drive Home on Amazon! If you’ve read it, now you have it on-the-go and can read it again with ease wherever you are. Or, if you’ve yet to read it, you’re in for a treat and can then tell someone else about it, in honor of today. The special will run through the end of April and will hopefully help someone discover reading or at least read something fun that they’ve never read before.

So, get out there and tell someone a story today. Read stories, watch, write and enjoy as many of them as possibly today. This is what the human mind craves, telling and being told stories. Few things can make you feel and “live” like a good story can. I hope you all enjoy the drive and a few great stories today.


National Tell a Story Day SpecialTDH-FB-COVER

April 27th – April 30th

The Drive Home: A Tale of Bromance and Horror, Kindle Edition

Price: FREE. 100% FREE!

 


What other holidays are out there for writers and storytellers? Are there any specials or events taking place today that the world should know about? Let us know below in the comments–or tell us a story!