Celluloid Diaries: Can blockbuster movies influence novels?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Can blockbuster movies influence novels?

do movies influence novels

This is a guest post by Jennifer Chase, author of the novel Dead Cold

I love movies. What else can I say? I have always enjoyed all genres of movies—with my preference for the mystery, suspense, and thriller flicks of course. There was no doubt that my movie enthusiasm (specifically the 1980s action films like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Terminator, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Predator, Rambo, and many more) helped to shape my novel writing style. I wrote more than a dozen screenplays before writing my first novel, Compulsion.

It is true that many movies are adaptations from bestselling books. What about movie inspiration for a storyline or a character in a novel? Thriller authors can find inspiration from many different sources, such as headlines, high-profile criminals, and even interesting characters that we meet along the way.

What is a screenplay? In a very simple definition, a script is comprised of action and dialogue with action/reaction as the primary building block that sets the pace of the story. It is perfect for the thriller or action adventure story in novels. I found that my skill as a screenwriter came in handy when I wrote my first thriller novel. In fact, my favorite part of writing a novel is the action scenes.

I enjoy all types of action films, so in my opinion, there is no doubt that moves can influence novels. In my Emily Stone Thriller Series, I’m always working out in my mind how she can catch the bad guy and what type of escape would be exciting and move the story forward. I see scenes visually like it were a movie.

As I outline an action scene in my books, I ask myself questions like:

What pushes the protagonist?
What pushes the antagonist?
What will ultimately be the goal or outcome for all characters involved?
How can these characters use the surrounding areas or limitations to their advantage?
What clever or hair-raising way can the protagonist get out of this predicament?

I don’t think that we’ve seen the last of female actions stars in movies as well as in novels. Time.com wrote about the “future of the female action star” and referred to the female lead’s success of such action thriller films as The Hunger Games with Jennifer Lawrence, Underworld series with Kate Beckinsale, Kill Bill with Uma Thurman, Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, and Alien with Sigourney Weaver. Forbes also noted “the rise of the female action hero”, which referred to the movie Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. No, I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of strong female action heroes.

Dead Cold Book Blog Tour

dead cold crime novel
Crime Thriller
Date Published: July 2, 2017
Publisher: JEC Press

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Every Emily Stone Thriller is a stand-along novel.


From the multi-award winning series:

What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offer a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.



About the Author

jennifer chase
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning author and consulting criminologist. She has authored eight crime fiction novels, including the multiple award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master's degree in criminology. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.


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