By Debbie Kaufman
This is a blog about stories that make the list.
What list? A top ten list of books, movies, even TV shows that resonate within us long after we’ve read or viewed them. I was reading Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff , a book I highly recommend, and she challenged her reader authors to make a master list of ten stories that are similar to the book you are writing, or the ten books and films that “you wished you had written,” and then look at what the list says about you and your stories.
I started my list, but, not being much of a list maker (unlike my friend Tami Brothers who wrote this really cook post about listmaking)and distracted as I can often be, I turned it into a master list of top ten stories that have resonated with me–the ones I would and have read or watched again and again. I wondered what that list would say about me personally or if it might direct my writing. And yes, I’ll get back on track for the lists Sokoloff would have me make, but this seemed to need to come first for me.
I have only come up with eight so far, and I didn’t always focus on a specific title if a series grabbed me. Some of these may get bumped off the list before I’m through, but I’ve decided per Sokoloff’s advice that the list should be fluid, not written in stone.
Here’s my list so far:
1. Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkein
2. The Sackett Series by Louis L’Amour
3. The Wizard of Oz (film version)
4. Redeemed by Francine Rivers
5. Star Wars (Lucasfilms)
6. The Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey
7. The Spencer detective series by Robert B. Parker
8. The J. D. Robb books by Nora Roberts
So far, I see two themes running strongly through my list: the everyday man triumphing over great odds, and good taking a stand against evil/injustice. Redeemed is the wild card, a strong tale of forgiveness. This blog is too short for me to share stories of the autobiographical kind that reflect both those themes in my life. The list is teaching me a lot about myself.
Do you have a book or movie that has truly resonated with you and would make your master list? Do share!