In between writing, book promos, and the other aspects of the business side of being an author with a new release, I’ve spent the last several weeks getting ready for the holidays. It’s an exciting time of the year for my three-year-old grandson, who lives with me during the week. We’ve been decorating (and re-decorating after he dismantles half of what we just did—lol) and we’ve started watching holiday movies. He actually sat through all of “The Polar Express.” He loves trains, and I love holiday shows.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite seasonal movies and how they inspire my writing.
1) ”The Santa Clause”
3) “Home Alone”
4)“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
5) And one of my all-time favorites, “A Christmas Story” (a must watch on Christmas day).
Notice that in all of these stories we have an element of emotional upheaval that eventually is resolved. When I write, I aim for my stories to have that as well.
“A Christmas Story” has one of the best lines ever written-- “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.” Ralphie has been hearing it from all the adults, but he’s devastated that Santa would say such a thing about his request for the Daisy air rifle.
It’s the basis of the whole movie and demonstrates how one line of dialogue can impact the story on so many levels. That’s good writing. I’d love to come up with a line in one of my stories that stands the test of time like that one. Until then, here’s the clip for showing Ralphie’s anguish about that famous line.
Here’s the link to “A Christmas Story—‘You’ll shoot your eye out kid’” to get in the holiday spirit: https://youtu.be/YleZvTSDC6s
That’s the lighter side of my holiday watch list and one not to be missed, however, when I’m getting into a writing zone, I lean toward the darker side of things, since I tend to have darker undercurrents to my writing.
1) “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Pretty much anything by Tim Burton can set the mood for when I’m writing a dark scene, or looking to add something a bit different to the story)
2) “Die Hard”
4) “Batman Returns”
5) “It’s a Wonderful Life” (It focuses on the theme of failure and suicide. That’s pretty emotional and the holidays can often bring that out for people. Redemption and hope are what makes this movie so touching and so encouraging for anyone feeling the holiday blues.)
The darker holiday shows really bring out the deep emotions that help me tap into the well of despair when I need that for my own writing. Plus, they’re really good movies.
Thanks for having me as your guest today.