How Two Writers Sharpen Their Spidey Writing Senses by Watching Movies (and how you can, too).

 “Hey, they can't do that. They didn’t set it up.” Or, “That dialogue...” We try not to be, but Barry and I are those people, the ones whispering in their theater seats.

With the recent tide of superhero movies and such, the Drudge household has been happily trekking to the theater fairly regularly.  

Thing is, the viewing experience is likely different for writers than for others. 

While there are film-specific elements that grab my attention as well, such as my ire when the camera cheats POV or the score tries to bully me into feeling an emotion, I’ve learned a lot about writing from watching movies.

Films can remind you to write all of the senses. Rich with visual details, deeply pearled with audio enhancements, including a ready-to-purchase soundtrack, movies envelope us.

Novels let us see the worlds authors build for ourselves. Yet we can experience movies at the same time with our loved ones. 




Sometimes it’s more work than pleasure to watch movies as a writer, because you’re listening to the dialogue and critiquing the plot. Even when it is fun, it’s still work because you’re either admiring or criticizing the writerly components.

And sometimes it inspires you to stop by a comic shop, though you haven’t been to one in years.  



Barry checks out the bins at Books, Comics, and Things.

And Drema sees a swoop and wonders if it’s a bird or a plane, but of course it’s... 


Then there are those fun Facebook movie poster apps you use late at night and you only wish you looked like this: 


But mostly movies are lunch fodder for the Drudges. We tend to spend the time while we wait for our food discussing the plausibility of the story (you’d be surprised at the gaping holes), critiquing the logic.

Drema’s big on insisting that a plot should be solid enough that you could jump on it repeatedly without falling through the foundation.

And NO convenient coincidences. Yes, there’s a literary convention that says you may have one coincidence and be forgiven and/or believed, but in general, that’s just lazy writing.

Anyway, if you want to be able to write off your movie tickets (kidding!), take a look at movies the way we do. Then, if you’re extra brave, try writing a scene. 

How do you watch movies? Does the writer you get in the way of your enjoyment sometimes?

Please comment below to let us know your movie-viewing-to-writing habits and scroll to the bottom and subscribe if you haven’t already.  

See, we wrote this without any spoilers. Do we get bonus points for that? 

Writing all the Things,