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Inspiring Movies and TV Shows for Writers

BJ Swabb

Movies and even TV Shows have always been a big deal to me. I love the action, the adventure, the drama and the over look of many lands seen through out. Ever since I was a little kid I was sitting closely to the tv watching everything that was happening. The Wizard of Oz was my first favorite as a child which is a huge deal to me as it gives me the drive to create good quests and stories to these days. Dorothy's travels in meeting interesting people and walking through a wonderous land of magic opened my eyes and drew me to love the story.

As I got older of course my verity has grown from the Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings, to Eragon, and of course the Narnia Chronicles. All in which drew me even more into my love of fantasy writing. Even Star Wars had a huge impact for me as a kid. I was a star wars fanatic collecting all the figures and movies and books. Disney was also a huge hit with me with the creation and the characters that opened my eyes on how to look at things.

Recently I have been drawing my attention to fantasy tv shows like Games of Thrones, Shadow & Bones, The Dark Materials, and of course my recent watch The 100. Watching these shows have gave me a new interpret on things when I write. Things to look into politically wise, and more of how things are ran.

If you had a show or movie that really gave you the inspiration to start writing fantasy what would it be and why?


Okay, I have one but it's embarrassing because it was a kid's show and I was already an adult. I got hooked on reading raw fanfics and started editing them for better endings. Then I did a simple writing exercise to describe a library and that ended up being 21k words, so I wrote my first novel, a fanfic of the same show with all kinds of inappropriate shipping and 200k+ words later I finished it and immediately started writing my own writing in my own words with loosely non-canon borrowed themes. Since then I wrote 12 novels in total and am working on my Opus Magnum, book 13, the forbidden grimdark fantasy novel that will be the last book I ever have to write because it will be everything I couldn't do in my other 12 novels. It's about forbidden topics, clearly offensive, ultimately crude, gory and violent beyond explanation. I want the reader to have a spiritual awakening after reading this book, it is trauma in word form, depression inducing, completely unexpected, and unique. It can't be traditionally published, it would instantly be banned as unsafe for all ages. But it'll be fantastic.

The original show was very tame, trite, one dimensional, casual and fun; a lot like most of my other books. This one will be the antithesis of that, and has very little in common.


Myth Weaver
Well, when I put it in the context of what shows or movies inspired me, I think I am actually very limited in that. I think it was more, I had stuff that I wanted to Inspire the movies and TV instead, so the reverse. I already liked swords and fantasy, and was always eager to watch things that had them in it, but...there are on the other side of the inspiration order.

I think I was inspired by Star Wars for sure, I think it got a lot of big questions right. Superman and Batman, probably (George Reeves and Adam West era). Samurai Jack....I very much liked this series. The Lone Ranger... I feel I am grasping. Most stuff was probably more written works instead. But, it feels true to me, that I was inspired first, and wanted to see it reflected on screen. I think I will throw in most everything done by James Cameron....more so if I was into creating movies. Oh, I should add Excalibur. That was around the time I was developing my interest. And thinking some more, Sinbad.
Yeah a few, Vikings / Valhalla for one always gets me in the mood to write. I think because it was created by the history channel it has loads and loads of juicy factually correct historical tidbits for the viewer to knaw on. It doesn’t hold back either, in terms of really encapsulating what it is to be (what we have come to know as) ‘pagan’, or to believe in a tribal pre-Christian polytheism. Women were more equal back then compared to later Christian times, they were not completely owned by their husbands, or male family members. They could divorce at will, run their own businesses or simply be free women. That is why Lagertha is such a compelling character. They interweave Norse mythology really well into the narrative and the viewer is left wondering, ‘is that actually happening, or are they just imagining it because they so strongly have faith in their Gods?’ That’s what I want to achieve with my historical fantasy novels, always.

Then of course there are others, Mad Men is a great example of a show that has realistic dialogue, just when you think there is a predictable story line, Weiner takes you elsewhere or otherwise nothing surprising happens, it’s just real life, and real life is always stranger than fiction. One of my favourite quotes of all time is by the fictional character Don Draper, ‘if you don’t like what’s being said, then change the conversation.’

The Wire is just bloody brilliant, with Dickens-esque layering and a saga like feel to it. You get the perspective of all the characters, at all levels. It’s probably the best series ever created. If you can write a series with that many clever layers then surely you’re onto a winner.

I watched Sinbad as a child and absolutely was mind blown- too, you just made me think of it. The Neverending Story was a childhood favourite, the concept of people reading stories and believing that they are real so much so that it keeps an entire fantastical universe alive is nothing short of mind expanding to my little brain way back when.
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Myth Weaver
Ive been waiting for vikings to show up on netflix but they never did. I wanted to see it for a while but my interest has waned. Maybe someday.