I Should Write a Book About This
Bilbo writes his memoirs: There And Back Again: A Hobbit's Holiday
You ever think of writing a book about your exploits in the line of duty? O'Neill:
I've thought about it. But then I'd have to shoot anyone that actually read it.
At the end of a movie or story, a character is shown to have written a book related to the experiences in the movie, usually after they settle down and have their happy ending.
If it happens at the end of a book, the implication is that you have just read that book; sometimes it's stated a lot more bluntly. Sometimes the first thing they write is the first thing you read: the passage becomes Book Ends
This is usually a straight out invocation of the Literary Agent Hypothesis
, with the implication that anything that doesn't quite make sense was due to the main character forgetting things, being mistaken, guessing wrong about events that he or she didn't personally witness, or lying for the sake of practicality.
A more recent variation more common in film and television is to end with a film or television series being produced about the events. Many times the ending itself will switch from "reality" to the film under production before the camera pulls back to reveal the set and crew
. Often this will involve self-mockery by taking previously utilized tropes Up to Eleven
, the story being Recycled IN SPACE!
or another increase in weirdness.
May be responded to with Who Would Want to Watch Us?
. Compare with Narrator All Along
and Tagalong Chronicler
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Anime and Manga
- The end of the second season of Digimon has TK (Takeru in the Japanese version), who has written books based on their adventures in the Digital World.
- Before that, in the season one dub Tai (Taichi) says, "This would make one great story. Of course no one would ever believe it."
- The endings of both the anime and the manga versions of Chrono Crusade feature this in the end, although in two separate ways. In the manga, there's some brief quotations from Azmaria's memoir about her adventures with Chrono and Rosette. In the anime, Joshua is shown working on a storybook about "a boy that goes on an adventure with his sister and a demon to see the astraline!" referring to Rosette and Chrono. However, the horns damaged his mind so much that those are the only memories he seems to have of the two of them.
- In a slight variation, at the end of Eyeshield 21, the quarterback for the Alexanders and aspiring mangaka says that she was ordered to write a manga about Eyeshield 21. She just wants to draw shoujo, though.
- In Letter Bee, Vincent Alcott is a down-in-the-dumps writer we meet in the first season who wanted desperately to be a great writer is an utter failure. Then in Letter Bee Reverse (season 2), during the final battle against Cabernet, he's scribbling in a notebook. It's later revealed that dear old Vincent wrote about it and got famous.
- Mizuki Kawashita drew a manga adaptation of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's play Sonezaki Shinju (The Lovers' Suicide at Sonezaki) in which Tokube and Hatsu faked their famous double suicide and ran away, and that Tokube wrote the play using Chikamatsu Monzaemon as his pen name.
- Throughout Fairy Tail, Lucy is slowly writing about her adventures and making it into a novel.
- Inverted in Princess Tutu: Fakir Rewrites Reality at different points (thus, he writes "about" the events of the story), however, the first time he does it successfully (and possibly with all of the others), he burns the "story" afterwards.
- Much of the last several chapters of Hourou Musuko revolves around Nitori writing what essentially is a novel version of the series.
- The original comic of W.I.T.C.H. has the oracle showing the girls a possible future, to cheer them up, where they all reunite as adults. Adult Will then reveals that she just wrote a book about their adventures as Magical Girls.
- A spoof: there was a series of one-shots in which Goofy is a historical or famous literary character. As Ulysses (in his adventure with the Cyclops), he ends the story by saying the trope name. Mickey (as Diomedes) then points out that he is illiterate. Goofy then says he'll just get himself a ghost writer, turns to a crewman and goes "Right, Homeros?".
- In JSA: The Golden Age, this was Tarantula's last thought before he was killed by Dynaman.
- George McFly, at the end of Back to the Future, has written a book inspired by Marty's radiation-suited visit to him in 1955.
- At the end of Enchanted, Nathaniel has written a self-help book, and Pip has written a memoir.
- In National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Riley has written a book about the events of the first movie and other conspiracies.
- Throw Momma from the Train
- The bonus: two completely different books about the same events.
- In Scream 2, Courteney Cox's character has written a book about the first movie, which has been made into a movie. By Scream 3, she's written a book about the second movie, which has been made into a movie. Scream 3 follows the production of a third, obviously fictionalised movie featuring the original characters. No doubt Gail wrote a book about it.
- The events of Stand by Me are being told in a book written by the now-adult main character (also the narrator), which he is shown finishing at the end.
- Romancing the Stone
- Bob's "Death Therapy" book in the epilogue of What About Bob?
- The movie Duplex has the main character trying and failing to write a book throughout the movie, mostly due to his upstairs tenant. The end of the movie shows his published novel, also titled Duplex, presumably about the events he experienced during the movie.
- Alex and Emma.
- In the third The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor film, we learn that Evie has done just this, publishing the books as fiction.
- In the sequel Shanghai Knights, Roy O'Bannon has published books vaguely based on the first movie Shanghai Noon
- Chasing Amy.
- Similarly, the adventures of Jay and Silent Bob in Mallrats and Clerks becomes "Bluntman and Chronic."
- Alice actually says this in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland.
- At the end of the Bela Lugosi movie Voodoo Man, a producer considers making the events of the film into a movie. The hero suggests that Lugosi would be a perfect choice to play the villain.
- Race to Witch Mountain
- The Spanish Inn is narrated from the perspective of the main character, as he's writing a book about the story.
- A Knight's Tale ends with Paul Bettany's Geoffrey Chaucer saying that he should write the events of the film as a story.
- The film Better Than Chocolate ends with the revelation that the protagonist eventually published a book called (wait for it...) Better Than Chocolate.
- Near the end of My Sassy Girl, the main character Gyeon-woo not only written a book based on the movie's events, but it's being made into a movie... Wait...
- In the Jackie Chan fantasy film The Myth, his character has written a book of the same name at the end of the movie, and it is dedicated to his Dead Sidekick.
- In-universe, the protagonist of Repo Men writes The Repossession Mambo, which is the title of the Real Life novel on which the film was based. He does this in the middle of the movie, and even kills an attacker with the manual typewriter he'd just finished writing it with.
- In Dragonheart, poetry-loving monk Brother Gilbert is trying to write an epic like Gilgamesh, and decides to frame it around the adventures of the protagonist Bowen. Not a book per se, but as the film takes place in a time before novels were common, it otherwise fits.
- At the end of Wes Craven's New Nightmare, the Ultimate Evil has been defeated and Resealed away now that Wes has finished the screenplay portraying it. Heather Langenkamp and her son read from the screenplay, which depicts the first scenes of the movie.
- Moulin Rouge! uses Christian writing a book as Book Ends for the film's story. Satine even tells him when she dies that he needs to write their story.
- In the Winona Ryder adaptation of Little Women, Jo is inspired to write a novel about her life with her sisters when going through her sister Beth's things after she dies. (This does not happen in the book, although the Jo of the books does become a successful author.)
- One of the events depicted in the epilogue of Elf shows Buddy adapting his experiences into a bestselling children's book.
- In The Umbrella Coup, Pierre Richard's character only realizes that he has been involved in a mafia Mob War at the end of the movie, when his partner (an undercover policewoman) spells it out for him (throughout the movie, he thinks he has been hired by a movie studio for some method acting). He then decides that the story would make a great movie, and the epilogue, he is a famous film director with Money to Burn.
- In ''Misery, Paul's agent pitches him the idea of writing a non-fiction book regarding his experience, he elegantly disregards it as a cheap shenanigan.
- At the end of The Egg and I, Claudette Colbert turns to the camera and says, "I could write a book!"
- The original Clash of the Titans ends with Ammon mentioning to Bubo that the tale would make a fine heroic poem or play.
- Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders opens with Pony Boy writing the story in class.
- In A Thousand Words, Jack is shown bringing the book to his own publishing company to work out a deal.
- Koko and the Ghosts begins with a news story about the protagonists' previous exploits having inspired a children's book. The film ends with the same news reporter asking our hero if another book were to be written based on the events of the film, what title he would give it. Cut to the film's title as the credits roll.
Live Action TV
- The last episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show has Rob Petrie writing his autobiography and subsequently being offered the chance to write his own sitcom based on his life as a comedy writer.
- The Made-for-TV and later released on home video movie Noah's Ark ends with Noah writing down his adventures, and expresses concerns that someday, people will say they weren't even there. Indeed, the movie's story is a mixing of the Biblical stories of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and, of course, the Flood... in that order. The character of Noah is sort of a mashup of Noah and Abraham, except that Abraham never lived in Sodom.
- Maya, from Kamen Rider Dragon Knight actually does this, selling the story of the Kamen Riders as a children's novel at the end of the series.
- The very last scene of Arrested Development plays with this with Maeby acquiring the rights to the family's story to be developed into a television series. However, she presents the material to Ron Howard who tells her "I don't see it as a series. Maybe a movie."
- Although not revealed in the series, Word of God is that Steve and Susan from Coupling made a sitcom based on their relationship (which, since they are, in fact, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue, isn't very surprising).
- Doctor Who:
- Joan Redfern — the love interest of John Smith, a certain humanised-amnesiac Time-Lord — is revealed to have kept John's diary and her memoirs in an attic. Over ninety-five years later, her great-granddaughter publishes them as a book...only for a man, just like the one from the diary, to come to the book signing.
- Lots of fans theorise that the Peter Cushing Dalek movies were written by Ian and Barbara based on their own experiences. This was almost canonised in "Day of the Doctor", but Steven Moffat couldn't budget the rights to show the movie posters, so the subplot was cut.
- The last episode of Roseanne reveals that Roseanne wrote the series based on her life - except the final season, which she completely made up after Dan died.
- McGee wrote Deep Six in NCIS. It is implied the books were fictional events, although the characters were clearly based upon Gibb's team.
- This happens frequently in Californication, in ways that relate to the ongoing story arcs and with the implication that most of Hank Moody's novels come from this trope. The main example is "Fucking and Punching", a novel that Hank writes during season 1 about his experience with Mia, which Mia subsequently steals and publishes under her own name, creating an ongoing conflict for much of the show.
- During the end credits of the final episode of Babylon 5, it is revealed that the entire series was a documentary featuring the history-changing events that occurred on the station. It showed a huge group photo of the actual production team, and ended with the entire run of the main cast's pictures and actor names. This makes the credits avoid Breaking the Fourth Wall and instead say "this Minbari actually existed in the future and played Dilenn".
- The Stargate SG-1 quote above gets (unintentionally?) parodied late in the series, when it turns out an ordinary citizen, who had acquired a psychic connection with O'Neill, attempted to publish the team's mission reports as books for years...unsuccessfully. Also, there's "Wormhole X-Treme," the Self-Parody Show Within a Show that acts as the SG-1 of the SG-1 universe.
- In the How I Met Your Mother episode "Brunch", where Ted, after hearing his parents' less-than-impressive story of how they met ("I think it was in a bar"), declares that when he's older, he's gonna make sure to tell his kids the full story of how he met their mother. Fast forward twenty-four years to 2030, and he does, although as far as we know he never published it.
- There's also the movie with the show, The Wedding Bride, which was written by Tony who ran away with Ted's intended bride, Stella. Since Tony actually got Ted his teaching job out of guilt for the incident, we can surmise the film is highly fictionalized since the character, Jed Mosely is extremely abusive.
- The Channel 4 Teletext soap opera Park Avenue ended with one of the characters announcing that he'd successfully sold a soap opera based on the street to ORACLE. Fridge Logic when you consider that Park Avenue was full of topical references, and had started four years earlier...
- Subverted in Avenue Q. Princeton thinks he's finally discovered his purpose in life when he sees a kid fresh out of college just like he once was: put together everything he's learned about struggling through life after college and make a Broadway show out of it. The recent grad flips him off and leaves, and everyone else thinks it's a bad idea too.
- The musical of Little Women does this.
- Older Than Steam: In A Midsummer Night's Dream Bottom, thinking the fantastic events of the play were All Just a Dream, says that "I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called ‘Bottom’s Dream’, because it hath no bottom;"
- If you stayed on good terms with Martin Summers through Hotel Dusk: Room 215, he sends Kyle a letter explaining he's going to write a new novel based off of him. Kyle isn't much of a reader and Summers isn't much of a writer, so his reaction is less than enthusiastic. He apparently decides to go for it later in life, as the novel Summers writes turns out as the In-Game Novel version of Last Window.
- At the end of Paper Mario, one NPC says that he's written a book about Mario's quest, entitled Paper Mario.
- Likewise, the sequel has Mario's adventures being turned into a play performed by one of his teammates, Flurrie, and a former enemy, Doopliss. The game also features a collection of books describing Luigi's adventures (with some facts being exaggerated to make Luigi look cooler). After beating the game, Luigi agrees to hire his publisher to make a book about Mario's adventure.
- Non-RPG Mario example: After helping Mario save both Peach and the entire universe from Bowser in Super Mario Galaxy, Rosalina actually decided to write a book based on her experiences with Mario where he had to save both Peach and the universe from Bowser again (her first book was about her childhood and the loss of her family), but this time Bowser is now a giant, and Mario now travels in a small spaceship shaped like his own face with the help of his dinosaur friend Yoshi and a fat purple star named Lubba. The title: Super Mario Galaxy 2.
- And Rosalina then writes herself into her own story where she finally finds the white Luma she accidentally left behind in the Mushroom Kingdom at the end of the first Galaxy (he was traveling aboard Mario's spaceship), and then she writes a third book (right in front of said white Luma, who listened to her reading SMG 2) about Mario finding various green stars scattered across the universe, and again she writes herself in to give Mario his last star and boards his ship afterwards.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2, the plot of the previous game is summarized in a series of in-universe publications accessible from the main menu.
- In some of the endings of Kana: Little Sister, Takamihi writes a book based on the diary of his deceased sister.
- Done in Riviera: The Promised Land, by Rose, of all people.
- The Sly Cooper games suggest that the missions are entries in the Thievius Raccoonus, the Cooper family journal/diary/manual. At the end of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, it suggests that Bentley was making the last entry in it.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Elite Four member Shauntal (already an established author) is in the middle of writing a novel about the events of the previous game; when you come to challenge her, she is brainstorming a passage about a trainer who fits N's description and whatever Legendary Pokemon he owns in the current game (either Reshiram or Zekrom) It should be noted, N defeated the Elite Four, including her, in the first game.
- At the end of Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals, Larry and Patti screw over the fabric of their fictional reality, wind up at the set of Sierra studios, and receive a lucrative offer from Roberta Williams to code adventure games about their adventures. Al Lowe had to skip an entire installment in the series to undo this ending.
- Space Quest III also ends with the Two Guys from Andromeda ending up at Sierra's studio and they end up making a game, presumably the Space Quest series. No ending-reversal here, though, since the Two Guys aren't the main characters.
- In the credits of Tales of Vesperia, art is shown of Estelle writing a book; when she closes it, the cover pretty clearly has "Tales of Vesperia" on it, though it's written in the game's made-up runic language. Whether the book is a straight-up adaptation of the game or some kind of children's story about Brave Vesperia's romps and adventures is up for debate.
- Was it Suikoden Tactics or Rhapsodia? That depends on where you live; either way, there's a reason the game's sections are called "chapters," and Andarc comes off as something of a Badass Bookworm.
- Mentioned in passing in Red Alert 3. Following a perilous battle in Cuba, Commander Giles mentions that maybe he will write a book about it.
- In the original Tomb Raider games, Lara has written several books which are treated as eccentric fiction, including "A Tyrannosaurus is Jawing at my Head".
- One of Madison Paige's endings in Heavy Rain has her writing a book entitled...you guessed it.
- One of Leliana's possible comments at the end of Dragon Age: Origins is that she might write a book about the game's events...but that she'll leave out details about Fereldan food, which isn't any good even at the palace.
- Zigzagged in Final Fantasy Tactics. Orlan Durai didn't say that he wanted to write a book about Ramza's brave struggle against Ultima and her cult, neither there's a sequence showing him do so. But the book, the Durai Papers, is written anyway— in fact the entire game is about Alazlam Durai storytelling it to you the player.
- In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio's fellow Assassin Niccolò Machiavelli mentions he will write a book based on Ezio's exploits. It's heavily implied to be The Prince. In the novelization of the game, he actually jots down notes while Ezio is giving a speech to the crowd.
- Kokoro's ending in Touhou 13.5: Shinkirou ~ Hopeless Masquerade Fighting Game, Hopeless Masquerade, has her creating a new Noh play called "Shinkirou", based on the events of the game.
- It was only mentioned All There in the Manual, but, after Mega Man Zero 4, Neige (a reporter) has written a biography detailing Zero's adventures.
- This is Invoked early on in Always Sometimes Monsters. In order to secure some help from their publisher, the protagonist agrees to turn over their personal journal to him at the end of the month, regardless of whether or not they succeed in their goal. He figures that he can turn that written account into something profitable.
- In Blackwell Convergence, Rosa receives a rejection from Rel Day Books for her manuscript "The Devil and the Deacon"—presumably an account of the events in The Blackwell Legacy. In Blackwell Deception, Rosa has a published (but wildly unsuccessful) manuscript called "The Actor and the Artist"—presumably an account of the events in Convergence.
- The Word Weary is a comic by John Kossler about John Kossler, who's writing a comic. Issue 75 featured him wondering what he should do for in-comic comic's next update- he finally settled on a joke that was used in issue four.
- Averted in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated when a "big shot television producer" suggests that Scooby and the gang's adventures would make a great children's show. Immediately everyone agrees this would be a bad idea.
- In one Tom and Jerry cartoon, Jerry writes a humerous book about his experiences with Tom. Tom at first is incredibly angry about it and the jokes the book makes at his expense... Until he learns that Jerry is required to share the rather large check from the publisher with him. Then he suddenly finds the book hilarious.
- Evan Wright wrote about what he saw in Iraq, titled Generation Kill, this is also lampshaded in the television series.
- The reason why people write memoirs.