Quandaries and Insights

A Pen In Each Hand

By harpspeed

Toasted Cheese
Candle-Ends Forum
December 2013

Dear Writers,

     Below is a list of films in a variety of genres—biography, comedy, drama, mystery, thriller, horror, etc.—that are about writers or about writing in general where a writer is the star. Curious. It seems that writers are a favorite protagonist in books and films. Why is this? We do have a natural curiosity that may lend itself to the darker genres such as crime dramas, mystery, thrillers, and horror like in the book and film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where we see the rise of the “curious” female detective—and the typewriter, as well!

     Still, curiosity isn’t always a good thing. It often “kills the cat” and sometimes tries to knock off the all-too-curious writer, too. Such is the case in the book and film version of Stephen King’s Misery, a psychological horror story about a romance writer and his dead darling. It’s a story that one might also consider a cautionary tale to writers about how the stories we write belong to our readers, too.

     Writers, indeed, do have a different way of looking out at the world. We have a special lens that is unique to us. Perhaps that is another reason for our protagonist popularity. Writers possess that acute sense of humor and wit that also transfers quite nicely into drama and comedy alike—as in a certain Will Farrell movie on my list.

     Do you have a favorite film about the writing life? If so, think about using it as inspiration for a future Absolute Blank article. Your own quandaries and insights can come to light from the big screen.

     Do you know of any films that didn’t make my list? Visit the Candle-Ends forum and tell us your film recommendations on the subject of writing. Do let us know if a book inspired the film. Some of the best stories were read before they were scenes. (Pun intended!)

     In the meantime, if you find yourself home sick or stuck indoors on a rainy day, park yourself in your favorite chair, with your favorite mug, a bowl of comfort, and the remote, and start streaming… then be sure to tell us about it.

Kindest Regards,
Harpspeed

Harpspeed’s Favorite Writerly Films
In No Particular Order :

  • Finding Forrester (2000)
  • Capote (2005)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
  • The Hours (2002)
  • Adaptation (2002)
  • Wonder Boys (2000)
  • Misery (1990)
  • Deconstructing Harry (1997)
  • Almost Famous (2000)
  • The Ghost Writer (2010)
  • Finding Neverland (2004)
  • Freedom Writers (2007)
  • Miss Potter (2006)
  • Factotum (2005)
  • Becoming Jane (2007)
  • Julie and Julia (2009)
  • Secret Window (2004)
  • Ruby Sparks (2012)
  • The Words (2012)
  • Being Flynn (2012)
  • The Man from Elysian Fields (2001)
  • Stranger than Fiction (2006)
  • Inkheart (2008)
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2 thoughts on “Quandaries and Insights

  1. One of my favorites is “Stand By Me”, in which the story is bookended by the conceit that the author/narrator is recalling and recounting an event from his childhood.

  2. Yes. Stand by Me is an old favorite of mine, too. It was directed by Rob Reiner and is based on Stephen King’s novella, The Body.

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