Plot-Seeking in Favourite Films

plotting novelThis week I began my novel re-write following the newly-fixed plot line [fingers crossed!]

Taking a NaNoWriMo approach – just writing each scene as it comes, and not letting myself edit anything other than spelling mistakes and clear grammatical issues – I’ve been watching old movies (mainly Disney) for inspiration, and looking for the writing devices within.

For example, last night I watched The Little Mermaid, and when King Triton [spoiler alert!] tries to use his trident to destroy the contract, it doesn’t work.

I actually went “Ahar! A limitation on magic!” out loud. Because I’m that cool.

And the key characters who “might fix things” are given backgrounds. When Sebastian [spoiler alert!] sings “Kiss the Girl”, we already know he’s musical – he’s sung “Under the Sea” and was introduced as a court composer.

How do you get inspiration for or try to learn about plotting?


This weekend I’m spending time with my mum and cats; there will be some time for writing amidst a choir concert, shopping and most likely a bottle of wine.

Have a good weekend!

4 responses to “Plot-Seeking in Favourite Films

  1. Absolutely: reading novels and watching movies and TV is the best way to learn about plotting, what works and what doesn’t. I find myself analysing everything I read / watch but it’s all educational and I’ve learnt loads that way!

    • It can be really helpful, can’t it?
      I particularly notice the difference between adult / children focused stories, generally based on the inclusion of more info-dumps.

  2. Myself I just love to read and see how the book made me feel at the end. What stood out and made a lasting affect on me. To me, good writing is when the reader is so lost in the book you only see, and hear the story not the technique. If I read a book and see or hear the author then I don’t want to copy them.
    Once you know the basic rules ie. grammar, spelling etc. just write and hear your own voice. Don’t worry too much about golden rules because there isn’t any. Just read and write.
    Good luck with your writing and have fun doing it.

    • I certainly have times when I pick up a book just to read; but for me this was more of a “things I’ve read/seen before, now to look at how they did it” experiment.
      I tend to pick books that made me forget it was a book at the time of first reading, because those are the ones I want to learn from.
      How did they keep me reading without noticing that I was turning pages?

      Thanks for commenting.

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