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Find writing magic in your favorite movies and books, part 1

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and some image or scene makes you think, “That’s brilliant! I wish I’d thought of that!”

Last weekend, I was working on my next book and began to wonder about my favorite scenes, objects, and ideas that have wowed me in print or on the screen.

What makes them stand out? Where’s the magic?

Below are a few movies that stand out for me and why.


Evita – My hubby and I recently saw this movie again and both started bawling in the scene where Eva is dying and her husband, Juan Peron, carries her so tenderly up the stairs. He brushes off the hired help who is supposed to help his wife and carries her himself, cradling her in his arms. The gesture is so touching, it makes his love for her come alive. I’m reminded how powerfully an outward gesture can portray an inner emotion.

Practical Magic – My favorite romance movie of all time because it has the two elements I love most: magic and love. I especially like the list the protagonist, Sally Owens, writes as a young girl outlining her ideal man–one that she knows does not exist. As an adult, her list comes to life. This is a good example of placing an object or scene early in the story and revisiting it later, once it’s significance has been determined.

Fly Away Home – Another favorite movie, mainly because of the theme: a young girl saves a flock of geese while, in reality, the geese save her and her father. I like themes that have multiple meanings.

In my next post, I’ll share my list of a few favorite scenes or objects in print.

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