What does it take to write well? I’m certainly not the person to spout forth on this. Yes, it is my goal to write well, to be a wonderful storyteller, to captivate with words, yet I don’t feel even close to that summit.
But climbing towards this lofty goal, I’ve found some guides who’ve made the way easier. These are writers whose commitment to excellence inspires me to better myself. I study them. I listen to their words, their language, their stories. And, in the midst of such explorations, I question who I am, what is my unique voice, how can I take these lessons and build my own authentic way of writing?
Here are some of the writers who inspire me to writing excellence:
Robert McKee, “Story: Substance, Style and Structure” McKee is the dean of Hollywood screenwriting gurus. His book, “Story,” is the Bible for screen writers. Why do I put this book at the top of my list? Because I believe that writing is storytelling, the essence of communication through the ages. Hollywood has spent a century perfecting the art of storytelling and McKee is the master teacher of storytelling through the medium of screenwriting.
“Hemingway’s Top Five Tips on Writing Well.” A short yet complete article from Copy Blogger on the principles that guided Hemingway in his writing process.
William Zinsser, “On Writing Well.” The essence of good writing, simple and complete, always an inspiration and practical reminder of the path I must take to achieve writing excellence.
“The Hero’s Two Journeys,” a seminar with Michael Haig and Christopher Voegler, two of Hollywood’s most sought after screenwriting consultants. Their seminar explores the roots of symbolic storytelling and lays out specific structure necessary to develop compelling plots.
Carl Iglesias, “The Six Essential Habits of Highly Successful Screen Writers.” An article in which Iglesias lays out the basics of screen writing, a.k.a. storytelling, success.
Stephen King, “On Writing.” Part memoir, part master class on creative writing, this is King’s story of the perils and principles of great writing and he has the credentials to stand behind his words.
Tio Stib, “A Blind Writer’s Guide to Excellent Audio Books.”
My book reviews of great books I’ve listened to, including a wide variety of genres and a list of Pulitzer Prize winners. My believe is that if I want to be the best I must study the best. That’s it for now. Any suggestions on other places to explore for writing excellence are welcome.
Best wishes for your writing success!
Great list. I’ve quoted King out of that book. I enjoyed hearing how you receive others’ work.
so much to learn and so many great writers to play with. Thanks.
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It never occurred to me to read what a screen writer has to say about writing. Thanks for pointing me in that direction. I saw this quote somewhere: “Good writing isn’t a science. It’s an art, and the horizon is infinite. You can always get better.”
Glad the idea sparked your mind. Yes, I agree with the quote. I believe writing well weill be a lifelong quest for me. Best wishes for your writing projects.