A few weeks ago, I re-watched one of my favorite movie series. I knew the DVD for the last Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie would be arriving soon, so I decided to go back to the beginning and watch the entire set of DVDs again. (For me, owning DVDs of select movies is like owning paper copies of my favorite books. I have a Kindle for reading, but I still prefer to own a hard copy.)
Romance writers often use movies as examples when discussing core writing concepts. A well-written movie script can be immensely educational for a writer of books. While it usually is not my original intent when watching a movie, I sometimes find myself assessing the pacing or the character arcs.
The same held true as I watched this series. The Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies were created by Martha Williamson (from Touched by an Angel fame) and were released by Hallmark. I am thankful for that, because they are well-done without an excess of violence or other stuff which might prevent a viewer from enjoying the stories. Or in my case, from also analyzing the stories.
In particular, I was struck by how well the script writers allowed the story arcs to develop over time. There are twelve movies, plus one season’s worth of hour-long TV episodes from early in the timeline. Each of the four main characters has their own growth arc, and there are also romance arcs. As a writer myself, I enjoy watching how these arcs unfold. I especially appreciate that the arcs are allowed to develop slowly, organically. The writers don’t rush the characters toward a dramatic or emotional milestone just to generate some contrived “feel goods” with the audience. The arcs develop naturally, but they are there.
Another takeaway for me is that all writers share some commonalities. Whether creating movies or books, we use similar techniques to produce very different outputs. As a novel writer, it is instructive to watch movie examples, especially a series, to hopefully strengthen my own writing. Particularly since my historical romances also tend to become a series. One which started as a stand-alone story about a widow in Colorado in the late 1890s has turned into a series of six books based on various characters.
So I guess spending time on the couch watching a movie is actually time well spent. In fact, writing this has inspired me to go find another favorite movie to watch. Who knows what I might learn from the next one? Do you have a favorite movie to recommend?
I write historical romances, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.