Reading is great, but it's not the only avenue to learn more about the possibilities of storytelling. I have had my mind broadened by more than a few movies; somewhat more controversially (for my parents at least - HI MOM AND DAD), I can say that the same is true of more than a few video games.
I'll list a few here without going into detail about any of them; hopefully I'll get a chance to do that in a future blog post:
- Silent Hill 2
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Final Fantasy Tactics
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 (seriously guys, it's really good)
... I'll stop there before I write out my retrospective two months ahead of schedule. It's not the point of this rambling anyway. My point is this: I finished Final Fantasy Type-0 and was immediately inspired to try and put some of the emotions I felt into a story of my own. I won't go into details as to how, but suffice it to say that the story I'm working on about my daughter's stuffed animals now has a much needed injection of drama and stakes.
I'll end this by saying that movies and video games cannot be substituted wholesale for books; things like style and pacing and imagery and a host of other writerly considerations can only be learned through the written word. But I will say that a story is a story no matter how it is told.