Perhaps it’s a cliche for a horror fan to reference the greatest living horror writer as an idol and an inspiration, but he’s an obvious choice for obvious reasons. This fantastic writer has taught me the most valuable lesson I’ll ever learn about about writing, and that is to just write. He’s given us years of wonderful terrors, and I cherish each and every one.
RICKY GERVAIS AND STEPHEN MERCHANT
There’s something so sincere about the characters they write, and that’s what I strive for the most in my own scripts. Nothing is sweeter, more genuine, or funnier than characters we recognise in the people around us. In my opinion, no one does this better than Gervais and Merchant. Saying that, I’d love to be half as good as them some day… okay, that’s only partly true. I want to be just as good. There, I admit it.
If I may be so bold, I’d like to hail Darabont as the king of adaptation. With triumphs based on books such as The Green Mile (1999) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994), you can’t ignore his ability to pluck the best from the books and transform them into incredible works of cinema. He’s also responsible for adapting the graphic novel series The Walking Dead (writer, Robert Kirkman) into the hit TV show. It’s one of the most popular dramas set in a horror backdrop to ever make it to the screen, and I applaud him for it. And on that note…
Though successful and now world-famous, I truly believe that Robert Kirkman has not yet achieved the recognition he deserves for his ability to tell a fantastic story. In The Walking Dead comics, he created a moving world of characters that continually develop and change, and a seemingly endless continuation of gripping story-lines. He’s been writing for over 10 years, and in theory with his ability, could probably continue forever. Just when you think that the man surely must be running out of ideas, he goes ahead and creates a parallel world for the show – a new set of stories for the beloved comic characters that somehow stays loyal to the source material, yet gives the viewer a new experience.
There are also novels focussed on the infamous Governor character, providing a backdrop for the show and comic alike. There’s the sister show, Fear the Walking Dead.
This ‘small-time’ comic book writer is in fact a story teller with the remarkable ability to traverse various forms of media, adapting his world to each type of audience. That, I’m sure any writer would agree, is no easy task.