It is known, that any group of writers gathered together in the name of literature are going to end up shilling.
Not their own work, usually, but the books that have inspired them, taught them something about writing, or just are flat out good. Here’s my compilation of books mentioned during the Paradise Lost Workshop, with a couple of additions I didn’t get to mention.
Non-Fiction, on Writing:
- Zen and the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury
- On Writing, Steven King
- Wired for Story
- The Ten Percent Solution
Stephanie Leary adds:
- The New Astrology by Suzanne White, per Nikki Drayden‘s post
- Everything You Need to Know About Men You Can Learn from Dogs (a women’s only resource to character development, as far as I’m concerned)
- The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett (screaming red herring)
- The Nicolai Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett (an arc for all 8 books together)
- Strong Poison & the Lord Peter Whimsey books (character voice)
- Have Space-Suit, Will Travel – The Star Beast, Robert A. Heinlein
Stephanie Leary was talking about the artist journey in:
- Faking It by Jennifer Crusie (also see her writing posts at ArghInk for superb lessons in craft/plotting)
- The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner (and sequels) for a twisty road of masterful reveals. When you get to the end, go back and read it over; it was totally fair!
- Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch for “fistfuls of trouble” and reversals by the pint.
Screenplays, for structure and craft:
- The King’s Speech
- Dallas Buyer’s Club
- The English Patient
- Love, Actually
- Thor (viewed as “an abusive father ruins family, creating bitter sibling rivalry”)
- Captain America (first half, anyway)
- Spiderman II (with Tobey Maguire)
Separately we talked about The Princess Bride and Never-Ending Story as formative movies.
I am going to update this list as others chime in with things I missed! And probably add links, once I’ve got the time to do that fiddly-bit. What did I miss, guys?