When I write screenplays, my mantra, borrowed from Scott Myers at Go Into The Story, is “Watch movies. Read scripts. Write pages.” What about adapting that to writing books?
You guessed it. The mantra becomes “Read books. Write pages.” Both Stephen King and Myers are right. It’s impossible to master a craft without first learning the intricacies, then practicing that which is learned. But it doesn’t stop there. It is an ongoing process that repeats over and over. To become a good (or great) writer of books, I need to read good (and great) books. No matter how much knowledge I might collect in my head, I can always make room for something new.
Here’s a selection of Canadian novels hand-selected by CBC Books.