Writing Hacks: Childhood Inspiration

I’ve been working on a side project recently that deals with a lot of fantasy from days gone past. If you asked me what my inspirations were for any given book I’ve written, chances are I would not mention a movie I’d seen when I was 8 years old. But as I research for said side project, I keep finding little hints and familiarities between my current work and the stuff I watched as a child. Maybe my subconscious has built its idea of fantasy on those things, and maybe I’ve held on to the past without realizing I was doing so, but today I’d like to take a minute to celebrate the wonderful (and sometimes terrible) stories I grew up on.

My fantasy movie/television appreciation post:

The NeverEnding Story

The NeverEnding Story debuted in 1984 and to this day if someone says Bastian, Falcor, or Atreyu these images immediately come to mind. More than 30 years after the movie’s release. Eight-year-old me thought The Childlike Empress was the most beautiful girl she’d ever seen. When she cries and the world crumbles, when Atreyu’s horse sinks in the swamp (and literally everyone cries). That weird giant turtle, the werewolf, the Rock Biter, Fantasia and the Ivory Tower. These are things that are part of my childhood.

Princess Bride

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” was repeated everytime someone brandished a makeshift weapon in our home for years.

Indiana Jones

Do I have a character who fights with a whip? Why, yes. Yes I do.

Conan and Red Sonja

Sometimes I think maybe my parents should have done a better job monitoring our television. Thank goodness they didn’t, because when we were kids we played with swords. Guess where that got me. No, not the ER–fantasy author!

Practical Magic

This movie. ❤

The Witches of Eastwick

And, honestly, this one.

The Goonies

Never. Say. Die.

Big Trouble In Little China

Cocky but inept Kurt Russell is my favorite Kurt Russell.

Xena: Warrior Princess

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t technically a kid when this came out. But still.


Did I ever tell you about the sword and sorcery series I wrote where the heroine communicates with animals?

Masters of the Universe


Some shows you enjoyed as a child probably shouldn’t rewatch when you’re older. I’m assuming this is one.


I cannot tell you how badly I wanted a Mogwai like Gizmo.



I also wanted an E.T.

Star Wars Trilogy

And an Ewok.


And a Michael Keaton.

Honorable Mention: Scrooged, Groundhog Day, Hocus Pocus, Ghostbutsters, Splash, and The Little Mermaid*


*to which I still know every word.

Did I miss one? What are your most-watched fantasy movies from your childhood?



2 thoughts on “Writing Hacks: Childhood Inspiration

  1. I absolutely love this post, probably because it’s a trip down nostalgia lane. Most of these came out either before, or the year I was born lol. Thankfully, for those unaware, I have much older siblings who made a point to shower me with these greats 😀
    I’m right with you, Mel, on pretty much all of these. I went through a phase where I watched either Neverending Story or Star Wars almost every day after school. And I loved to binge watch the Indiana Jones trilogy (huge crush on Indy of course lol) I just couldn’t get enough of the magic and the fun. Besides the movies/shows you mentioned, I also loved Willow, Legend and the animated Beauty and the Beast & Gargoyles. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We watched so much TV, but I remember a childhood of running and playing nonstop outside. This also excludes cartoons, which is a massive list on its own. Rescue Rangers, He-Man, My Little Pony. LOL Aging myself so bad with this one.


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