What to Read to Become a Better Writer!


#1

I’m a massive advocate for reading as much as possible in as many genres as possible. I think one of the biggest reasons why we’re so stuck in cliches is because we’re so one-track minded and tunnel-visioned when it comes to the stuff we read and watch. It’s super difficult to think outside the box and make original content if you’re just reading the same old stuff.

So, I thought I’d start up a thread in which we can all recommend writing to one another - either on the Episode platform or elsewhere, that we think will help us broaden our horizons and become better writers!

This can be non-fiction or fiction; poetry or prose; fantasy or romance… anything you want!

I thought I’d start things off by saying The Uncanny by Sigmund Freud. It’s great for all the horror writers out there! Or just people who need to create a creepy atmosphere. It’s non-fiction, but it will help you understand what’s really scary about horror, as opposed to just copying the things that work in other stories… which is an easy trap to fall into!

Feel free to share your recommendations of things you read or watched that made you think differently or changed your perspective on something!


#2

I had never ever thought of making a superhero story until I read “Villain Rehab”! Now I’ve started writing such an original story! Also, the story is amazing and I’m pretty sure it’s in romance though. But anywho, it gave me a whole different perspective of stories instead of boring bad boy good girl storylines!


#3

Well, I love the videogame Dragon Age a lot-it’s my fav (it’s a combat fight game, but has an epic storyline) and it’s really inspires one to write a fantasy novel. And there are elements of LOTR (Lord of the Rings) in there, which is my fav movie series- and very great books. Honestly, it makes me want to write a fantasy story about elves, dwarfs, mages, warriors, and wars. Perhaps for the future, I’ll write up something that contains these themes : )


#4

Video games are an awesome place to draw from in that regard, and your comfort zone is always safe for this but in regards to writing fantasy it might be good to read some detective stories or watch/read some horror. Or even play some horror. I personally feel the Silent Hill series has had a huge effect on horror in general and I’ve taken a lot from it in regards to pacing, world building and lore execution that can help even with high fantasy!

Other great games that might be out of a fantasy fan’s comfort zone include things like Dark Souls/Bloodborne, Persona, Devil May Cry and many many more. Finding media outside your usual comfort zone is a blessing in my opinion! And you can learn a lot about what you want to do and write by thinking about the things you consume and how it can help you build :smiley:


#5

Oh my lord yes! Dragon Age is one of my favourite games ever (especially Inquisition).

My advice would be to look carefully at character development. I do this all the time in movies, books, shows and games. And just practice writing without the burden of it having to be perfect.

Another thing that has really helped me is finding a writing style that fits for me. I’ve read so many different books on writing and they all pretty much say that for your story to be successful and good you have to plan your story with a big outline. Write down all the important plot points and twists etc. But I found that whenever I tried this it just killed the joy I had for writing whatever story I had planed. Then I read some really great mystery/thriller novels by an author named Steven James and saw that he had an advice book out too (Story Trumps Structure) on organic writing. Totally changed my life.


#6

The Harry Potter series, Vampire Academy, classic movies, and the Divergent trilogy.


#7

All of those are amazing! Although they’re all very popular and from a very common genre! It’s good to encourage people to broaden their horizons when it comes to writing - that’s how we leave cliches behind!


#8

I definitely have to agree! I absolutely adore Villain Rehab. It’s beautifully directed and really funny! :heart_eyes: @Caitoriri really thinks outside of the box when it comes to stories


#9

This straight up almost made me cry :joy: Happy tears, of course.

Um, let’s see… I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction books on writing recently, particularly by Randy Ingermanson. He’s actually a Christian fiction writer, but he also co-authored “Writing Fiction for Dummies” which has some amazing advice in it. He’s also the creator of the “Snowflake Method” for planning novels, (which I now use to plan all my stories) which he’s published two books on: “How to write a novel using the snowflake method” and “How to write a dynamite scene using the snowflake method”. I highly recommend all of them.

For those of you entering the thriller contest (or anyone who wants to add more suspense to their stories, I guess) I also recommend watching “Alfred Hitchcock: The Difference Between Mystery & Suspense” and “Alfred Hitchcock explains the element of suspense”, both of which can be found on Youtube. Really short, but really informative and helpful tips from the master of suspense himself.


#10

Awesome advice! Thanks :slight_smile: Those are definitely things I’m going to check out now!

If anyone’s thinking of sci-fi, I really recommend Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. It’s a masterpiece that shows you how to build a political message into your story… if you wanna do that kinda thing :smiley:


#11

It helped me with dialogue, a lot. I’ve also read plays!


#12

Ooh! What’s your favourite play?


#13

Vampire Academy is one of my favourite series! I’d also recommend the “I Am Number Four”, “Sword of Truth” and “Eragon” series if you’re interest in sci-fi/fantasy (those are books series people, not Episode stories sorry I couldn’t help myself)


#14

For episode stories, I highly recommend “Speak” by J. Miley and “Loving in Retrospect” by Nour Debian, amazing authors with stories revolving around real life issues.


#15

Hmm… “Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare. Is that the title?


#16

Vampire Academy is my favorite series!


#17

That’s honestly awesome, all my friends hate reading so I have no one to freak out about characters dying or crazy plot twists with :sob:


#18

The ending confused me…


#19

To be honest, I read every book and I was halfway through the last one and then stopped. I couldn’t bear to finish it :sweat: I read it all really fast so when I got to the last book I was like NOPE THE HEARTACHE IS TOO REAL I CAN’T DO IT. I plan on re-reading it and finishing the series for real though this year.


#20

I read it 3 times.