Anyone who knows me is aware that I love theaters, both cinematic and stage. Sometimes, while watching a movie or a performance, a line or concept will stand out to me. If I tap into my writer side, I will notice that two storytelling possibilities are presenting themselves:
- Take the idea behind the line and use it as the theme for a story.
- Use the line as the springboard for a character. Write the line into that character’s dialogue and let the tone of that line guide a scene or the character’s personality through the story. (If you choose this option, be sure to go back later and change the line so there is not a copyright infringement.) Remember, with this option, you are using the words of the line, but you can change the tone, situation, and body language. For example, “Why so serious?” from The Dark Knight (2008) could be asked innocently or flirtatiously.
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to select one of the well-known, and in some cases abused, movie lines below. Then, write a short story using the line in one of the methods described above.
- “There’s no place like home.” – The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- “Just a flesh wound.” – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
- “No. I am your father.” – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- “Go ahead, make my day.” – Sudden Impact (1983)
- “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” – Dirty Dancing (1987)
- “You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men (1992)
- “Houston, we have a problem.” – Apollo 13 (1995)
- “Show me the money.” – Jerry Maguire (1996)
- “You make me want to be a better man.” – As Good As It Gets (1997)