Authors Answer 80 – Inspiration From the Screen

Happy Friday the 13th! Unfortunately, our topic isn’t related to that, but there is a movie called Friday the 13th. We’re talking about movies and TV shows this week. Sometimes, we get our inspiration from reading, sometimes from life, but sometimes from movies and TV.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 80 – Are there any TV shows or movies that have influenced your writing?

Gregory S. Close

Basically anything I consume from any media has some sort of influence, positive or negative.  There are lessons to be learned about good and bad storytelling, characters, plot points etc. in anything from My Little Pony to Jessica Jones.  If I had to say what was the biggest single influence, I’d say that Star Wars fits that bill.  I saw it in the theaters when still pretty young, so it had a huge impact on me.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Funny this question comes up, because The Book of Eli was one of my favorite movies and was s big influence on my novel Jasper. It mostly contributed s certain setting and aesthetic. One of the stories I’m working on now might bear some resemblance to a fantasy series with its own highly rated TV show, but it’s actually more inspired by a video game (Dark Souls.)

Eric Wood

I don’t think so. Or at least not consciously. I just write whatever comes to mind. I typically don’t watch movies and TV that are in the same genre as my writing. Sons of Anarchy, Grey’s Anatomy, Blindspot, Game of Thrones and The Voice.

Allen Tiffany

Certainly “Star Trek” and Captain Kirk. Very powerful influences on me not only as a writer but also as an infantry officer in the Army. As to pure storytelling and character development, “Inception” and “Apocalypse Now” are both brilliant. “Inception” is a damn clever story that leaves you both intrigued and curious throughout. “Apocalypse Now” is stunning in every dimension. It is a tightly woven tale thick with symbolism, foreshadowing and complex themes, and it is a case study in presenting a “passive” character.  If you want to see an amazing review of the movie check out this strangely insightful video:

D. T. Nova

Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, despite the fact that I haven’t written much involving space travel, since they were my introduction to some science fiction concepts and the first shows to make me think about a variety of other concepts (science fiction and otherwise).

I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s dialogue too much to think it hasn’t influenced the way I write dialogue to some degree.

The anime Full Metal Panic had a larger influence on my in-progress novel than I consciously realized while writing the first draft. (I haven’t actually read the novels it was based on due to the English translations being incredibly hard to find.)

As far as movies go, Star Wars’s influence is widespread and I’m no exception.

Paul B. Spence

Not that I can think of off-hand. I grew up with classic Star Trek, Space 1999, and Battlestar Galactica, as well as The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. I’m sure those had some effect.

S. R. Carrillo

Not TV shows, but movies, definitely. I’ve always been drawn to darker movies like Donnie Darko and just about any Quentin Tarantino movie ever made haha. Quiet mirth. Caustic smirks. Lots of blood and sexual and murderous tension.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Um…are there any TV shows or movies that haven’t influenced my writing? Haha… Seriously though, I’m the kind of person who comes away from every new show or film (that I enjoyed, of course) with a hundred new ideas. I’ve been influenced by everything from Star Wars, to Buffy, to Doctor Who, to the Avengers, and everything in between. Watching something I love makes me want to write something similar. For instance, around the time that I decided to write Nowhere to Hide I’d been watching a lot of zombie movies with my husband (and subsequently reading several zombie books) and it made me think, “I could totally do this,” so I did!

H. Anthe Davis

I’ve written a few posts on my media influences, but some of my major ones have been Japanese manga and anime — particularly Berserk and Revolutionary Girl Utena.  I’ve always been impressed by how some of those creators can wrap psychological/horror themes in bright candy shells, which slowly dissolve as the story goes on until we’re right in the middle of all the madness.  Also, I started watching this stuff when I was a teen in the 90s, well before CGI could make really good fantastical landscapes/creatures; animation had no such restrictions, so I think I’ve absorbed a lot of the dramatic visuals from anime more than from any Western media.

Jean Davis

The one that comes to mind most is Farscape. I loved the character interactions and the way the different races were handled.

Jay Dee Archer

A lot of space-based science fiction has influenced me. The biggest is Star Trek and all its sequels. I’ve been a fan since the 80s, and I’ve always wanted to develop a universe with many planets. Of course, Ariadne is only on one planet, and little space travel happens, but it’s given me some ideas. For realism, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a big influence. I love realistic science fiction, and it’s what I want to write. Although it’s been years since I watched much anime, I would say that Macross is one show that influenced me, especially the Macross Plus series. But most recently, I watched Walking With Monsters, which is more of a documentary. That’s given me ideas related to worldbuilding, as has the short series Alien Planet.

How about you?

What TV series or movies have influenced you, whether it’s writing or the kind of fiction you like to read? Let us know in the comments below.

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11 thoughts on “Authors Answer 80 – Inspiration From the Screen”

  1. It’s changed dramatically from when I was younger, from Star Trek and Star Wars to, dare I say it, more romantically inclined movies these days.

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    What inspires you? This week the authors and I are talking about how our writing has (or hasn’t) been inspired by things like TV and movies.

  3. I generally don’t think about what may or may not have influenced my writing, because I don’t ever set out to imitate a specific story, setting, character, etc. The elements I like get absorbed, and mixed with everything else already in my head, and come out in unrecognizable fragments. In that, the television series and movies I watch are no different from anything else in life.

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