The Magic of Belle Isle Inspires Writers


Often when I watch a movie I find some excellent take-way value. After watching Magic of Belle Isle I found a treasure. The main character, Monte Wildhorn, an author whose passion for writing died with his wife is taken to Belle Isle by his nephew(under protest) in hopes of rekindling it.  Monte has no intention of ever writing again. Alcohol and the dog that came with the home areh is only companions. That changes when he meets his neighbors, the O’Neals. A single mother with three girls who disturb his grumpy existence. Ten-year old Finn (short for Finnegan) O’Neal offers to pay Monte to teach her to imagine. Charlotte O’Neal’s piano playing lifts his soul and Fin’s determination to understand how to write a story inspires him. He finds his muse again.

The scene that captured my writer’s heart and reminded me why I write took place between Finn and Wildhorn. He points down the road and asks her what she sees.


“Try harder –tell me what you don’t see.”

The quizzical look on her face is priceless.

Later Finn understands as she looks out the window toward the beach. Monte again asks her what she doesn’t see. This time she weaves a tale about a girl being pursued by a man.  Her imagination is ignited as she adds to the tale. The girl tricks the villain into going into the cellar where she slams the cellar door and secures it with a broom until the police arrive. Finn explains that she and a neighbor boy like to hide in the cellar.

Monte commends her imagination and using what she knows.

These two points are priceless. Writing about what you don’t see and writing what you know.

Writing what you know

Recently I have been reading Eva Marie Everson’s Cedar Keys Series. Eva has vacationed in Cedar Keys on several occasions. The setting is so familiar to her that the character movements feel natural.

Brandilyn Collins experienced Lyme disease and from that wrote the suspense thriller Over the Edge drawing from her own experience battling the disease.

Jerry Jenkins grew up around law enforcement. His father was chief of police. This experience makes his Precinct 11 series so believable.

Use your imagination to write what you don’t see

Seeing the unseen comes naturally to those with vivid imaginations. A painter captures the light on canvas, the sculpture sees a figure in flawed marble.  A writer sees a stranger lurking in the shadows of a pleasant tree-lined street.

Like Monte I wasn’t feeling in a writing mood.  I found my muse again as I watched Monte rekindle his through his association with the O’Neal family.  As my mind pondered the insights I was gaining from Magic of Belle Isle I was inspired to write this blog post.

What inspires you?


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