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Palle Schmidt p2

Danish comics artist and author Palle Schmidt recommends many very good books, including novels, comics, and books on improving creativity...

In one of Palle Schmidt’s excellent Youtube videos, he recommended some books he found inspiring. These included The War of Art: Break through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield. It’s about how to overcome fears that stop artists and others from achieving their full potential.
Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll was another favorite of Mr Schmidt. Instead of using dialogue and narration, writers can use other techniques to tell a story, using sound and vision. This book covers 100 of these techniques from cinema.
Seth Godin’s The Dip is a 76 page book about temporary setbacks and how to recognise them and push through them.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k. The author, Mark Manson, says life’s struggles give it meaning. He argues that facile positivity from some self-help books doesn’t really help.

READERSVOICE.COM: On a couple of videos you mention some favorite books. You give a really good explanation of books like Story by Robert McKee, and Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. Do you always check your scenes in novels and comics you’ve written, to make sure the character has a value change, say from optimism to disappointment, for each scene; or do you make sure their objectives and outcomes are very different after each scene? Or does it happen automatically when you write?

PALLE SCHMIDT: I like how specific and well-researched this question is! While I certainly have used both examples as sort of a checklist, usually it comes naturally. I don’t check for value change in every scene, I just write it. If something is off and I find a scene or a chapter is not working, I’ll often pull up the structure or little rules of thumbs like the objectives and outcome you mention. I find it better to think of structure as a level you can use if the thing looks crooked. If it doesn’t look crooked, I pretty much leave it hanging.

RV: What are some of your favorite novels or comics?

PS: I’m very much inspired by the hardboiled noir of American literature, like Chandler, Hammett, Ellroy and Pelecanos. In comics I started out with superheroes, Batman being my favorite. But I haven’t really followed it since the 90’s where Frank Miller’s Daredevil and Dark Knight Returns where my absolute favorites. If I’m to mention anything more recent, I’d say 100 Bullets or Ed Brubaker’s Criminal. In non-fiction I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic which I can highly recommend for any creative person.

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