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Spring fling: Documentaries that are inspiring writing ideas

Updated: 13 hours ago

In March, I am sharing the things I am absorbing right now that are fueling my writing fire

In case no one has cued you into this fact yet, writers are weird. 

And we’re all weird in our own way – a specific way, a personal way, an individualized way. Writers have a tendency to be a little obsessive – how else would we write 70,000 words on a story we made up in our head, develop a video game with multiple potential outcomes, or a series of poems about the day to day experience of our cats. 

Which also means we develop fixations on things others overlook. Left untethered to writing, it can lead to manic thinking. But placed in the concept of an art form, it can be considered compost for future projects, little nuggets tucked away for future stories, poems, etc. 

Spring is a time when my interests shift a little. I find myself drawn to lighter things, frothier things, pink things. I absorb more romance, more trashy reality television, and more tequila. Sometimes I have these moments where I am finished with a stressful period or project, and all of a sudden my brain wants to absorb new things. I am in the midst of a crossover of Spring Fling energy and post-project cup filling, and I find myself inspired by many things and wanting to consume different things. 

This month, I’m sharing the things which are inspiring me at this interesting time. 

Keep in mind, I’m a writer, therefore, I am weird. I’m not reading the new hot book or watching the new popular series. I couldn’t even tell you what was popular right now unless Hubs told me about it. He is often annoyed when I can’t tell him what’s popular, what’s been nominated for an Oscar, or what phrases the “cool kids” are using. 

This week I’ll start with what I am watching. 

When I am on my own, I spend more time watching documentaries. I like stories with real people where the drama is not scripted. 


An iPad resting on a stack of printed manuscript pages and a calendar

Here are some of the documentaries I’m watching that are inspiring writing ideas:

  • When Missing Leads to Murder – there are so many true crime series coming out on Netflix from Great Britain. And they are interesting even if at times they are as low-budgeted as some of my favorite ID shows. One I found particularly interesting was a kidnapping case where the last person to see the victim all of a sudden started inserting themselves into the family’s life. It was creepy and strange, and I immediately added it to my inspiration box for future fiction projects.

  • Can I Tell You a Secret – I watched this on a plane. It’s another stalked via social media case, but there were aspects to it in victimology as well as criminology. What do people consider stalking? What do people consider a threat? But also how law enforcement is still developing policies regarding how they handle stalking cases – even in Great Britain. One of the stalked was a woman who posted on Instagram about her business, which was twirling fire batons, breathing fire, and dancing with fire. My country-ass is drawn to anyone who can wield fire and not burn down the house. That would be an amazing character to write. I also love the word “secret” and the reaction people have to that word.

  • I Am A Stalker – The purpose of this series is to listen to interviews by people convicted of stalking cases. Most of them were what one would expect – denial, victim-blaming, and narcissism. However, what was most interesting were the women stalking women cases. 

  • Hell Camp and Last Stop – I am placing these in the same category because they are very similar stories. The Teen Boot Camp industry is not just an amazing episode of Maury Povich from the early–00s, but an actual industry where teenagers are kidnapped by the people who run the camps at the consent of their parents and the ones who made it out were left with PTSD, and, as one woman and former camp member said she had the ability to survive as a homeless addict on the streets, “because I had learned wilderness skills.” One of the people fighting these places remarked how step one of the admissions process was a “wallet analysis” where they determined whether the parents could afford the camp long term. I go back and forth whether I will write about teenagers, although teens appear in many of my stories. I don’t know how much I would want to write about a teen going through that experience, but I do like the idea of writing about a teen escaping that place. 


Next week, I’m talking podcasts, so be on the lookout for the podcast stories that are inspiring me right now. 


Read Books. Wear Boots.

XOXO,

B.


 

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