I went to see the movie Easy A over the weekend and loved it. Not only does it tip its hat to Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, but also to notable 80’s flicks, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Can’t Buy Me Love, Say Anything and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (maybe more). All this on top of great characters and situations. Hard feat? Apparently not. It was funny, smart, and from a YA writer’s perspective, totally inspiring. By the time I left, I wanted to go home and attack my manuscript—fix, tweak, rewrite until that same magic from all those teen movies, from this teen movie, came through in my story. And what is that magic? I don’t know. It’s just something that resonates with the teenager in all of us. Something that makes us sigh and remember all the stupid, crazy, crap we did. Something that reminds us we, too, were once young, invincible, and at the onset of the rest of our lives. Sigh.
Anyway, I got to thinking watching movies can be pretty inspiring, especially when you’re a little sick of what you’re writing or reading, because you can sit back, relax, and enjoy. It’s probably something I’ll do more often because watching a movie really helps me with plot-something I tend to struggle with (I know I’m ending a sentence with a preposition, but I like it!). In a movie, there’s no room for unnecessary scenes; everything has a reason, everything has to make the story progress because, well, movies cost money to make. So, we really can’t spend too much time, you know, pitzing around getting information that’s not necessary to the story. Same thing goes for writing, right? Right. So, really, watching movies (especially those similar to what you write) is almost mandatory. Like how I justified that? Now next time you go see a movie, you can tell yourself it’s helping your writing. And if you take note of characterization, plot, mood, etc., then, it really kind of is.
I’d like to tell you I came back and fixed everything in my manuscript, but the truth is I came home, listened to my 80’s playlist (oh yes, I have one of those) and let the warm and fuzzy feeling of the movie sink in. But I got back to work the next day, and it was easier because I was “feeling” it. Does that make sense?
Anyway, in true 80’s teen spirit, I leave you with these words: I say La /La-la-la-la/ La la la la /La la la la la la la la la laaaaaaa…
Published 80’s playlist on playlist.com for those interested.
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