Have you ever thought about writing a story? Perhaps you’ve got one or two sitting around in your head that you’ve been wanting to get down on paper. Maybe you’ve even got an idea for a whole novel that you’ve been wanting to flesh out. But, if you’re new to writing or just want to write creatively as a hobby, you could be put off by the idea of sitting down and putting your thoughts on paper. So, in this article, we’ll discuss some short stories that you could write to get the creative juices flowing!
The Legend of Zelda
One of the most famous and successful games of all time, The Legend of Zelda, is an incredible series of interactive fiction adventures that tell the story of Link, a young boy who journeys with his mentor, a talking owl named Scrumpy, to defeat the monstrous Ganon. To this day, The Legend of Zelda continues to be one of the most popular and recognizable icons of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide and being named one of the greatest video games of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records.
While the main story mode of The Legend of Zelda is pretty much unbeatable, it still wouldn’t hurt to try and write your own story for the game. After all, being able to add your own little twist to the familiar tale would make the experience that little bit more personal. Maybe you could even call the story you tell ‘Link’s Story’ and let the player take on the role of Link in your narrative. This way you would be able to add some extra details about the character that the player may not know about, making it that little bit more immersive.
Samantha Wakelin’s School for Girls
Samantha Wakelin’s School for Girls is a 2018 English-language film directed by Roger Michell, who is best known for his work in British cinema, spanning six decades. The film stars Ruth Wilson, Florence Pugh, and Keira Knightley as three very different young women who study at a remote New England boarding school. While the film is based on true events, it dramatizes them in a way that is fictionalized – and, at times, even comedic.
The School for Girls was an extremely prestigious private school located in England, founded in 1881 and named after the playwright, George Bernard Shaw. It had an interesting and unusual curriculum at the time, with students pursuing not only academic studies but also extensive extra-curricular activities, including shooting, fishing, and skiing. Since its inception, the school had only ever admitted young women. There is no word as to whether or not men were allowed to attend the school at this time, but it is known that a teacher named Mark Head died in 1894 while on a skiing expedition to the Swiss Alps. Despite this, the school carried on and expanded its student body, becoming coeducational in the 1940s.
One of the most interesting aspects of The School for Girls is how it weaves the history of the institution with a coming-of-age story – showing the three characters, Megan, Laura, and Alice, as they venture out into the world, experiencing new things, making new friends, and finding their own identities.
If you’ve ever read the literary work of the Brontë sisters (Anne, Emily, and Charlotte), then you’ll know exactly what we mean when we say that Jane Eyre is brimming with creative energy. Set in the 19th century, this Gothic novel follows the titular Jane, who, after being raised by Mr. Rochester, a former bachelor who falls in love with her and marries her despite her protests, as she fights for her personal freedom and demands to be treated as an individual rather than as ‘Mr. Rochester’s wife’.
While it may not seem obvious, writing a story about Jane Eyre would be a real tonic for any writer, as this character is rich in literary symbolism and interesting historical references. You could base your story on this well-known novel and experiment with some of the more unusual narrative techniques that were new at the time. For instance, did you know that Charlotte Brontë published her first novel, Jane Eyre, in 1847, only six years before she died, making her the matriarch of the Brontë literary dynasty? Did you know that the first edition of Jane Eyre had only 250 copies printed and was sold for £20, a significant sum of money in those days? Or that Emily Brontë published her debut, Wuthering Heights, in 1847 and died three years later, never having married or had children? If you’re writing a story about the Brontës, then these are all the fascinating facts you could include!
One of the more recent films based on a true story, Giovanni’s Island, stars Jim Caviezel, Olga Kurylenko, and Liev Schreiber. Set in post-World War II Italy, the plot follows an American GI, played by Caviezel, who volunteers to build a fishing boat with the condition that he can travel to a deserted island to visit his ailing mother. The island is populated by Neapolitan criminals who plot to kill the American, but he manages to thwart their schemes and make it to his mother’s side. Just as he is about to be killed by the local mob, the U.S. Navy arrives in the form of a submarine and he is able to sail away and save the day. As the film’s IMDB summary accurately puts it: “Giovanni’s Island is a 2018 American-Italian thriller film directed by Michael Brandt and written by Jonathan Lisco. It stars Jim Caviezel, Olga Kurylenko, and Liev Schreiber. The film is based on real people and events that took place in the 1950s.”
Giovanni’s Island is an entertaining blend of fiction and fact, with a strong focus on the hardships of post-war Italy. If you’ve never been there, then it would be a great opportunity to visit the places where the story takes place during the time when it was being written. However, if you have, then this may be the best chance to revisit some of the scenes from the movie.
The Haunting of Hill House
We couldn’t end this list without including another Netflix production, The Haunting of Hill House. With its haunting theme song and chilling imagery, it may be the best-known of the creative stories featured on this list. If you’ve never heard of The Haunting of Hill House, then we would definitely recommend that you give it a watch. Based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, this Netflix original film directed by Michael Wartella won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The plot focuses on the Pallisers, a family of young guests who stay at the titular Hill House – a grand old English manor, which has been vacant for some time and whose previous owners were all murdered. One of the first things that you’ll notice about the Pallisers is how they’re all quite beautiful, even if they do wear a little bit too much makeup. Another thing that you’ll notice is that they talk a lot, and not in a quiet or reserved way, as you might expect from a family of ghosts. You’ll also notice that the Pallisers aren’t afraid to express themselves and be themselves, which is a quality that Shirley Jackson valued in her storytelling.
Though this characteristically gothic story may be suitable for younger audiences due to its adult-theme, the film’s writing and directing are of a very high quality, not least because of their attention to detail and accuracy. It would be a great opportunity for any would-be writer to immerse themselves in this world of gothic suspense, using it as a source of creative inspiration.
The Boys Wear Black
Some of the best films available on Netflix are romantic comedies, with the streamer having a great selection to choose from. One of the more recent entries in this subgenre is The Boys Wear Black, which follows a group of high school friends who are each other’s heroes, but who are also determined to pursue romances that are completely independent from one another. It is the ultimate in female friendship movies and has been compared to the works of Nora Ephron due to its “wit, charm, and wisdom.”
One of the things that makes The Boys Wear Black stand out from other romantic comedies is its portrayal of a bisexual character. Josh, who is played by Jimmy Smits, is an acclaimed pianist who has been married to women before, but who decides to explore a new side of his musicality and starts dating girls. He soon realizes that he doesn’t want to be limited to just one type of relationship and comes to terms with his sexuality, which is something that the movie brings to light and is something that hadn’t been depicted in a film before this point.