Last week, I watched the new release Authors Anonymous, in which a writer’s group copes with the overnight success of one of its members. Only a bookworm and writer would connect with the writing communities, workshops, rejection, insecurities, agents, self-publishing, and writer’s block themes. The movie might have been dumb as hell, but it motivated me to pick at a short story after the credits—and that’s really all that matters, people.
The experience reminded me films about writers motivate writers like Rocky motivates athletes. Need some summer writing inspiration? Check out these movies for a shot in the arm. The best part is they’re cases in point of the power of what we do: stories.
Synopsis: This film explores the true authorship of the plays and sonnets credited to William Shakespeare.
Live vicariously: Hear a crowd chant “Playwright” after the performance of one of our plays.
- “Ten thousand souls all listening to the writings of one man, the ideas of one man—that’s power.”
- “Only when I put their words, their voices to parchment are they cast loose free. Only then is my mind quieted…I would go mad if I didn’t write down the voices.”
- “You, your family, even I, even Queen Elizabeth herself will be remembered solely because we had the honor to live whilst [he] put ink to paper.”
Themes: intellectual property, censorship, the political power of literature, the passion of writing, the timelessness of good literature (and apparently crowd surfing), and, you know, Shakespeare.
Synopsis: While writing his true-crime novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote develops a relationship with one of the killers.
Live vicariously: Be famous; have fans; type on a typewriter; participate in a mass reading.
- “Researching this work has changed my life. It’s altered my point of view about almost everything. And I think those who read it will be similarly affected.”
- “Sometimes when I think about how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.”
Themes: storytelling, fame, open minds, research, nonfiction, and commitment to a project.