The Revenant, the Movie – 2 Creative Reminders for My Writing: Analogies and Parts of a Book

reviews IMG_0013 copyThe Revenant, the Movie –

2 Creative Reminders for My Writing:

Analogies and Parts of a Book


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The Revenant –

2 Creative Reminders for My Writing:

Analogies and Parts of a Book


January 14, 2016

Related Categories : Movies – Writing – Creativity


Writing Inspiration via Movies

Yesterday I mentioned how truth in story and character are perceived to be why and how a work of art, in this case a movie or writing, can be what makes that work of art real to a viewer or reader.

Leo DiCaprio spoke of it in his acceptance speech at the Globes. Author Richard Bausch wrote about this on his FB page.

This morning I came across a brilliant post by Chuck Wendig, Five Storytelling Lessons From The Force Awakens (inclusion, subtext, world building can be what you don’t show, orchestrating key moments, characters who like each other). Totally worth checking out. And miss the fireworks in the comment thread!

I think what’s extraordinary is how much it’s possible to gleam from film, and I’d add TV, that can be used and applied by writers.

With all the above in mind, here’s my two, siphoned from the movie, The Revenant.


Two Creative Reminders for My Writing

One – Analogies

As noted in my post yesterday, truth in depiction of story and character makes it real for a reader or viewer. And “real” is brought across by faithfulness to life experience: emotion and the use of our senses.

The Revenant is soaked dense with visuals evoking our senses: waterfalls gushing through a hole in a wall of snow, bison stretched across rolling horizons of hills with a wolf pack surrounding a separated member, arrows piercing torsos and heads, villages of children and women slaughtered, a mother bear rushing to attack and repeatedly biting her prey, the main character grabbing fish bare handed and eating it raw on the spot, paths between rocks padded with snow, mountain ridges, streams, meadows of ice, men’s faces, women’s glares, children eyes.

The images in the film are direct yet evoke associated feelings based on the images prior and following.

In film and TV, sight and sound are the only direct modes of communication. Both visuals and sounds have to carry the perception of touch, taste, or smell.

There wasn’t much dialog in The Revenant. Images carried the story. Imagery, either direct representation or via analogy, can do the same in writing.

Plus, writing includes something very unique to writing: analogies – similes and metaphors. They enable jumps far beyond the words placed nearby.

They can evoke direct sensory sensations that enable a sense of a reality.

The glass sheen on the water rumpled, dimpled and burst into steam.

Splatter left a wet sting across my arms and face.

Or trigger lateral feelings and sensations via analogies.

I stood dripping away my planned surprise like April buds stripped of leaves.

If I say trying to get the right words on digital paper is hard, and say:

It was hard as driving nails in concrete –

The analogy involving images (nails, concrete) and motion (driving) and touch (hard related to the words following) – gives a better idea than just saying – “it was hard to say.”

The latter is telling, the other is showing.

As far as I’m concerned, both together work fine. It’s all up to the creative person to decide how to express.

Of course then we readers (that’s me jumping sides now) have the option of complaining, or praising, or ignoring (worse!) the whole expression!

Could make me feel in a fix. Like the better I bake a cake, the more everyone will want and the less of it there’ll be to go around!

Not really. Not with digital (smiles).


Two – The Revenant is based on “part of a book.”

I found this out by accident. My wife and I stayed for the credits at the end of The Revenant to see who some of the actors in the movie were and there at the end was the little notation: “Based in part on the novel by Michael Punke.”

An article via Screencrush (which disagrees with my wife and mine’s feeling the movie was great) confirmed the “in part” portion.

A nice read about the author, pre-release to the film, is at :

What I find so encouraging about this is, though it’d be nice if a big director, actor, etc took a devoted liking to one of our written stories, they only need to like enough of it to take it further for the story to gain its own life.

As per the Screencrush article above, the same was true of Forrest Gump.

Basically, I like this important tidbit because I want and need to maintain a degree of creative autonomy.

Knowing that often successful work is developed from “portions” of existing work tells me again to create what’s in my heart and soul, do the best I can with it, enjoy the process, copyright it for my grand kids (or the highest bidder), and keep on going…

Or, applying number One above, Analogies : Knowing only a portion of my work has to appeal to someone for it to become developed beyond a book is like turning on a twinkle in one eye and letting loose a bounce in my step to remind me I’m glad to be alive (smiles).


Related posts:

Time to Review and Refocus : Health and Creativity (2014)

Inspirations from Life – Thirty Three Years of Poems and Images (2013)

Processing My Fiction – Are the Number of Story Words the New Page Number? (2013)

You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology: Reviews Links and Excerpts, Part 4 – 100% of Proceeds to Charity (2016)



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