If you are looking for some creative writing help, take some time and watch some movies. You might want to check out a made-for-TV movie that came out in 1990 called The Dreamer of Oz. It starred John Ritter, Rue McClanahan, and Annette O’Toole. The concept behind the movie was how L. Frank Baum, the mastermind behind The Wizard of Oz, came up with his ideas using various methods of creative writing help. It showed how he met various people, held various jobs, and identified with various aspects of his stories, which made the fantastical nature of his writing more magical. The movie showed that he wrote what he knew, but he needed to learn these things he knew by doing creative writing research and employing it within his stories. He had to observe his surroundings and talk to people to gather his ideas.
More recently, Gregory Maguire took the helm in writing a “prequel” to The Wizard of Oz, called Wicked. It has been adapted from book form into script form, and it is now a well-known Broadway play. It details the life and times of Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, before they took on those respective roles in the land of Oz. Viewers are able to meet and find out the histories of the scarecrow, the cowardly lion, and the tin man and learn how Oz developed into what it had become once Dorothy showed up. Not only did this involve creative writing research, but also in-depth characterization. The story of the wicked witch took on a whole new meaning, as we saw Oz from her perspective.
Try to find a way to write your own “prequel” to a well-known novel, movie, or even a song. You may find that there is more of a story there than you might think. If you’ve ever wondered what life was like for certain people, or how things turned out certain ways, find your own way to express these musings through your writing. Curiosity can be aroused by one word or phrase that catches a reader’s attention. Find the word or phrase that piques your curiosity, and research it until you find the background and meanings behind it. It is only a mystery to you if you allow it to be.
Consider these movies or books as a means of helping to fuel your creative genius:
The Neverending Story: How would you end this tale? Why does it have to be never ending? There always has to be a story to tell if it is never going to end. What story is that enticing that you can’t get enough of it? Think of the shows you watch or the books you read that you can’t get enough of and start writing your own tale that encourages constant thinking and dedication.
Titanic: This movie told of a love story that occurred on the Titanic before the dreaded sinking of the ship. Re-imagine the ending of this story. Would a happy ending be had, or would Rose end up with her fiancé instead of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character? Maybe you will choose not to write a love story at all, but rather an action-packed adventure detailing the heroics of one man who brought numerous people to safety. Even if the story is not completely true, but instead is based on the ideas that happened on that ship, that’s okay. You just have to remember to say that your story is based on truth, and is not completely non-fiction.
The Catcher in the Rye: The novel detailed the life and times of a young boy who had been kicked out of school and didn’t know what he was going to do with his life. Besides his sister, he didn’t know to whom he should turn, and he found himself in the middle of situations he was not mature enough to handle. Now, think about some strategies that could change the way this book was written. For example, what if the book had been nothing like how J.D. Salinger wrote it? The title connotes the idea of a catcher. This book could have dealt with a worn-out old catcher who brings a bunch of old baseball players together to throw a few balls around in the rye fields on the outskirts of town. The catcher could have played for a famous team, and was cut from the team for some radical reason that he still cannot fully understand. Maybe he was just getting too old, and the team manager didn’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him that.
It’s interesting to think about titles of movies, books, TV shows, and other expressive genres. When you first hear the title, what do you imagine? If it is something other than what that movie, book, or TV show is truly about, you have just found the basis to begin your creative writing research. You can then begin writing your own story based on that title that you mistook the first time you heard or read it.
After you’ve tried something new, feel free to share pieces of it in the comments or let us know what creative writing strategies you employ to help you get your writing started.