Serdar did a lovely post on non-writing influences on his writing. I decided to do my own – and challenge you to do your own! We ought to share tips (send me your posts).
As for me:
(Yes, I post a lot about it, but it’s worth hitting the high points)
- Success is in what you don’t do. The more you make unnecessary, the more waste you avoid, the better.
- Value comes first. Know the value of what you’re doing – even if it’s just “it’s fun.” Learn not to do things that have no value.
- Fail fast and learn.
Movies (especially indies)
- Persistence pays off. Many amazing movies are the results of willpower.
- Find ways to make “systems” for your writing – outlines, checklists, ways to rank characters, etc. They help you see your work anew.
- Story and mechanics (what causes what) are inseparable.
- Make things modular. Understand how small parts make larger things and how they connect. It also lets you “swap” things around easier.
- Doing things right on a small level ensures success on the larger level.
- Prototypes and rough drafts help you evaluate ideas and learn quickly. It’s also better to have something, no matter how flawed, than nothing.
Stage and Television
- One interesting character with the right dialogue can hold a person’s attention for hours.
- Budget lets you invest for success, but it can’t replace talent or passion.
- Keep up a sense of immersion at all times. Stepping out of your world should be a choice, not an accident.
- Lore brings people into a world, but it has to be hands-on and visceral. Lore must matter and connect to deep emotions and experiences.