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A Sub... Sugar page of Gushing About Shows You Like. Only this focuses on the writing part. Dialog, descriptions, prose, lyrics, even titles. Just have fun telling us about writing you like.

NOTE: This is to gush about the show, not to bash people for not liking it.

Compare Gushing About Characters You Like.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The writing in general for the first half to two-thirds of Neon Genesis Evangelion made a real effort to make the main characters as three dimensional as the show could, which was really refreshing. It really surprised me, when I was expecting an overrated show (not claiming it's the best ever, though) that was full of itself and the characters did things because the plot said so. So glad to be proven wrong.
  • The twenty-fourth episode of Sailor Moon was one of my personal favorites. It focused on a minor character, but still show the other main characters at this point, have a rather touching moment, in a Stockholm-ish in a way and was one of the only few works of fiction that managed to make me cry. The only complaint I had for this was If Nephrite was human, why is his blood green? Did the animators not have red on them or something?
    • There's a moment during the Black Moon arc which appeared in both the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal where Chibi-Usa is watching Usagi and her mother from a doorway. Usagi has failed yet another test and her mother is berating her. In that moment, Chibi-Usa realizes that her future mother, the amazing, invincible Sailor Moon, is "unreliable, a crybaby, and always gets yelled at by everyone". She realizes that at the end of the day, despite growing up in the shadow of her mother and her mother's legacy, they're not so different after all. The original scene is less than half a page in the manga, and I really like how, for all its faults, Crystal made a point of emphasizing it.
      • I would also like to gush about how both the original anime and Crystal excellently handled adapting Hotaru's internal struggle with Mistress 9. The original focused more on the emotional conflict (i.e. her not being able to remember whenever she would lose control and hurt someone), and you just want to give her a hug. Crystal, on the other hand, put more emphasis on the physical conflict. The scenes of her struggling to repress Mistress 9's control were genuinely painful to watch, and in a good way.
  • Trinity Blood has the most amazing writing staff ever. I'm in love with that show/manga, honestly (though more the anime, since manga's so pricy) I'm not a very emotional person but Gyula's death made me cry.
  • Code Geass has a lot of good dialogue in both versions, but after Lelouch beats Schneizel, his speech all over the world is EPIC.
    Lelouch: Attention, entire world! Hear my proclamation! I am Lelouch vi Britannia! Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire and your only ruler! Schneizel has surrendered to me! As a result of this, I am now in control of both the Damocles and the FLEIJA weapons, and even the Black Knights no longer possess the strength to oppose me now. If anyone dares to resist my supreme authority, they shall know the devastating power of the FLEIJAs. Those who could challenge my military rule no longer exist. Yes. From this day, from this moment forward, the world belongs to me! Lelouch vi Britannia commands you...Obey me subjects, OBEY ME WORLD!
    Jeremiah Gottwald: ALL HAIL LELOUCH!
  • Death Note and Platinum End writer Tsugumi Ohba is godlike when it comes to writing thrillers - especially when it comes to writing twists and gambit pileups. Not to mention that he's amazing at pacing. If all that wasn't enough, it's even more impressive when he uses all of these skills and applies them to writing a normal different genre of manga like Bakuman - which is much more of a Slice of Life manga, but it's also written and paced like a thriller.
    • Death Note is also one of a very small number of shows that have geniuses as main characters that also has those genius's intellects believably demonstrated, rather than relying on it being an Informed Attribute
  • Arakawa's writing skills really shine through Fullmetal Alchemist, especially her skills at foreshadowing. When things like a joke Villain Of The Week and the shape of a hallway from somewhere between sixty and eighty chapters ago become very important, you know you've got a good author.
    • Amen. What I found the most impressive is how there are like, several dozens of characters and ALL of them managed to contribute significantly to the plot in some ways or another without being thrown away. I think Tite Kubo can REALLY learn from her.
    • All the characters are memorable, the plot is intelligent and actually makes sense, the world is very interesting and unique and to sum it all up, it is essentially the story I always wanted to read as kid.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes is 110 episodes long and has a cast of hundreds yet it's never slow or crowded. The characters on both sides are three-dimensional with ambitions you can root for, the narrator talks to the viewer about politics but never talks down to them and biggest of all is that the show can remain interesting even when it kills off it seemingly most important characters.
  • When an anime with only 26 episodes is considered one of the best of all time, you know something was done right in regards to the writing.
    • I second that with my own recommendation: Princess Tutu, 26 episodes of fourth-wall-chomping-magical-girl-ballet. Don't believe me? It has been nicknamed "Guitar Ninjas" for its awesomeness (and because of this picture right here.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena. Mind Screw symbolism aside, these are some of the most unforgettable, flawed, and interesting characters I've seen in an anime, and the ending left me breathless.
  • Rika Nakase definitely must have had Steven Foster as an influence for writing Kanamemo, because the dialogue is no doubt the most clever dialogue I've heard in an anime comedy ever. It feels exactly like watching an English dub, with some notable small slang uses in some scenes, already with the hilarious slapstick, and also the fact that she wrote the Musical Episode entirely by herself. She was no doubt like a Japanese Lauren Faust here.
  • Naoki Urusawa. Having finished 20th Century Boys, I declare it to be one of the greatest works of fiction ever made (in my opinion, the greatest work of ficiton of the decade goes to Full Metal Alchemsit Brotherhood). It contains EVERYTHING that should make an enjoyable experience from great characters to an interesting world. The suspense is very good, a signature of Naoki Urasawa, the story itself is unique and something that nobody has seen the likes of before and everything flows so naturally and comes together so perfectly. It doesn't even contain a lot of motivational speeches which even good anime are guilty of using, like Rurouni Kenshin and Neon Genesis Evangelion and yet, it says little and leaves such a huge impact. It is depressing but is also very idealistic; its both a deconstruction of shonen and a reconstruction in the end. In all, to say it is genius is an insult to the book itself. It makes Watchmen and A Song of Ice and Fire look like they were written by five-year olds.
  • Just a small thing, but it's the small things that matter, right? Way back when, during One Piece's Thriller Bark story, Sanji mentioned reading an encyclopedia of Devil Fruits, and aspiring to eat one of the fruits inside. This must mean that, once eaten, that fruit isn't gone forever, because what's the point in wishing to eat a fruit if it's already eaten? It was just mentioned off-handedly for a gag, so it surely shouldn't matter, but this must mean that if, say, a Fruit eater dies, their Fruit is reborn and grows somewhere else. Come the Dressrosa arc, it's a plot point that the late Portgas D Ace's Mera Mera no Mi has grown again after his death. Foreshadowing with a perving gag. Congratulations, Oda, you are awesome.
    • Oh my god, One Piece all the way. It should be the poster child for Continuity Porn. It has one of the most consistent storylines ever made in manga, and it lets you know to really pay attention during a story. A throwaway scene can and will be important 400 chapters down. What's really amazing is Oda's ability to make the foreshadowing very obvious in hindsight, while spacing the foreshadowing so far apart from the reveal that we don't see it coming because we forgot that it happened. He must be very patient with his writing style.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica just may be one of the best shows I've ever seen, and it all comes down to the writing. It sets you up to think it's going to be a traditional Magical Girl anime, then it yanks the rug out from under you. And it keeps doing so for the rest of the show! The best part, though, is how it manages to walk the tricky tightrope of being a dark deconstruction of the Sub-Genre, while still maintaining a glimmer of hope, at least until the ending where it at least achieves a bittersweet ending, if not a genuinely happy one. It was the perfect capstone to a great series, and one of the most tightly crafted shows I've ever seen. And this is coming from a person who normally AVOIDS anime.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable is one of the most creative murder mystery stories I've seen. The first half is your standard Araki fare of Morioh's Joestar Group beating Villains Of The Week senseless until they become friends, but once Shigechi grabs Kira's hand- I mean sandwich bag and dies for it, the narrative focses around Kira and the introduced character Reimi, as the group is sent on a mission to figure out the indentity and whereabouts of Morioh's killer. It also contains my favorite final battle of the franchise, where Kira starts on top of the world, and then the odds get slowly stacked against him, as he slowly starts suffering a Villanous BSOD the farther behind he gets. Then comes the ambulance, and Kira is solidified as the single best Jojo villain death.

    Comic Books 
  • Chris Claremont's 1975-1991 run on X-Men was full of spectacular stories and characters. His collaborations with artists John Byrne, Alan Davis, and Dave Cockrum were imaginative and fresh, and really codified the Bronze Age in my opinion.
  • Frank Miller really got the Darker and Edgier Nineties Anti Heroes off the ground, and I love him for it. I'm basing several characters off of his interpretation of Batman alone, and a villain off of his Joker. I'd just like to give him a huge Shout-Out here, because he's really magnificent at what he does.
  • Neil Gaiman. The Sandman. Need I say more?
  • Grant Morrison may be... controversial... when it comes to his X-Men work, but I thought his run on JLA was nothing short of spectacular. Fascinating plots that delved into the psyches of iconic characters, and deepened them while keeping them recognizable. I still look at that run as the best way to handle a team composed of characters that, in any other writer's hands, would quickly become overly perfect.
    • His run on Animal Man is nothing short of epic. Buddy and his family feel like real people, the Fourthwall gets demolished, and the last issue, where Animal Man actually meets Grant Morrison is perhaps the greatest single issue of any comic ever published.
  • You can hand Peter David any team of characters at all, from the scrappiest to the most underappreciated, and he will come up with a way to make them work. He's just that versatile.
  • Warren Ellis is one of the funniest and most imaginative writers today. His tried and tested approach to writing involves getting his hands on an already popular concept, injecting it in the retinas with bizarre technologies, hilarious dialogue, surreal settings and then turning the whole thing up to 11 makes him a writer to definitely look out for. Case in point: Transmetropolitan, Nextwave and the JLU episode "Dark Heart."
  • Jillian Tamaki, who wrote Skim, a small graphic novel about a teenage girl, is my idol. She deserves to be as well known as any of the above writers (not that they aren't also completely awesome).
  • Jack Kirby is known as the king of comics for a reason. His stories are simple, but have so many levels at the same time. His characters are fun and fascinating. The dialogue ranges from the crude, loud-mouthed Brooklyn accent of the Thing to the cultured, maniacal ramblings of Darksied or the Red Skull. And, most of all, he just gets it. He understands every single level of comics, and it shows in everything he does. No matter what the story is, if Kirby writes it, you can find something to enjoy.
  • Alan Moore may just be the greatest writer in all of comics. At the very least, he writes the most detailed scripts. The first issue of Watchmen was roughly twenty-five pages. The script was more like one-hundred twenty-five. The stories are complex, maybe a little too complex at times, but very enjoyable. He can capture all the various details of his characters and use them to their fullest. Even the characters were supposed to hate, like Rorschach, seem strangely likable. And who else could make someone like the Floronic man seem awesome? He has a deep love of the comics medium, and is willing to share it with all of us. Be very thankful.
  • Paperinik New Adventures is the perfect comics for all ages. It's practically a surefire bet on everything: if an extremely popular character can work in a totally different setting, if you can create new characters that are just as awesome as Others with decades of history, if Disney can take new roads... and the best thing is that it manages to win them all.

  • Those Lacking Spines. A well-written piece of Kingdom Hearts fanfiction which excellently Deconstructs many aspects of bad fan writing. I am subjected to amazing Fridge Brilliance when recalling lesser events. E.g, blindly using fancy, long strings of words as a humorous point in the story.
  • "Dog Will Hunt". Never thought I'd find myself like a Joker fanfic, but just read it. It sounds like the writer worked on the script for The Dark Knight Trilogy. Takes the best parts of every incarnation of the Joker and Harley Quinn, mixes them up, and lets it flow.
  • Elecktrum writes some of the best Narnia fics on the web. They remain faithful to Lewis while delving into more difficult topics. Her stories are populated by engaging original characters who manage to support the main cast without stealing the spotlight. And her writing is exquisite, well worded, but not overly flowery.
  • Warrior4 has written a some of the best Redwall fan fiction I have ever read. A Mask and a Song is, in short, a Fix Fic that involves reviving Martin's Love Interest, Rose. However, the subject is dealt with with such tact and skill (and without breaking canon), that it feels like it could have fit right into the official story.
  • Pom Pom's Eleven is perhaps the best Homestar Runner fanfiction ever. It has that Homestar Runner charm to it, the dialogue is very funny, it perfectly imitates the characters personalities(with the exception of The Cheat), which is HARD to do, and it has a nice and cool story. It is quite simply the greatest Homestar Runner fanfic ever made....THAT IS NOT BASED ON STRONG BAD X HOMESTAR RUNNER YAOI FANFICTION!!!
  • In the Code Geass fanfic Dauntless (Allora Gale), the way that Lelouch OWNED the Purist Faction and Jeremiah Gottwald, making him his Knight of Honor in the process, in chapter 50 is simply professional!
  • Parentheses: AntiFluff Drabbles a Ben 10 fanfic that shows Gwen's perspective on just about everything about the show. It makes Gwen The Everyman, by showing us how (surprisingly) relatable she is in a irratonal world. Despite how it tries tackling themes that doesn't fit in Ben 10, it still does a really good job of doing it.
  • Of Love and Bunnies, as seen here. It's quite easily the greatest Power Rangers fanfic ever written (for a long time, it was the only positively-received PR fanfic with it's own article on TV Tropes). Apart from the general wacky humorous nature, the characters are so on-point and the plot is so perfectly interwoven with what was seen on-screen that it's easy to consider it behind-the-scenes canon.
  • Unequally Rational and Emotional starts with what should have been a simple premise (Negi has different odd couple roommates), and not only used it to its full potential, delving into two favorite characters, but also used it to explore a usualy ignored character and flesh her out beautifully. Then, when that was exhausted, it didn't die or degerenate into trite cliches; it moved up and introduced an enourmous plot and a massively crossover world, and not only made both fit in seemlessly, it also made the world more real. Then, instead of going for the popualr characters, it began exploring all the minor characters that became overshadowed in the manga, plaving them in the forefront (to the point that it's a unning gag in the series that Asuna complains she used to be the main female lead). Absolutely beautiful. This is what any fic, standalone or Mega Crossover SHOULD be like.
  • Five Score, Divided by Four. The twist that the characters, instead of being humans who are mysteriously turning into ponies, actually were those ponies originally and their human forms are wearing off, so expertly flips the entire premise on its head that I could not stop reading. It pretty much combines every brony-specific hook: It stars these bronies that you hopefully care about as other members of the community, who end up having been these characters that you care about all along, and oh shit this entire world that you care about is A. real and B. in incredible danger. It transitions from "what the hell is going on" to "these characters have to save the world while also dealing with the fact that their lives were basically fake up to this moment" so well that it's just stunning. And it does it all with just three words. On top of that, the fact that the twist is placed at the end of the first act, and not at the end of the second like you would expect a twist to be located, makes the twist still hit you even if you know that there's a twist ahead of time. It's the best MLP fanfic that M. Night Shyamalan didn't write.
  • The Black Sheep Dog Series is one of the best Harry Potter fanfic out there. Focusing on the complicated dynamics of the Most Ancient And Noble House of Blacks, it offers an impressive cast of fully-developed characters, both O.C. Stand-in and originals, each with unique personalities, perspectives and character arcs. The writing is vivid and emotional, and it's amazing how the scenes can almost seamlessly go from tense to hilarious to touching to heartbreaking without being jarring.

  • The writing in Coraline manages to help create a fantastically strange atmosphere that somehow feels real, and is every bit as massively successful as the animation in eliminating the feel of Unintentional Uncanny Valley commonly associated with stop-motion.
  • Inception is just so well-written, the pacing is excellent, it's philosophical without getting too bogged down or not feeling accessible enough, and it makes you care about the characters along with providing some nice shifts into psychological horror or action.
  • The Social Network is incredible. It's not specifically based on real-life, but it's doing a great job of being a real-life exploit. It captures the energy and the times we live in so well, from multiple different contexts, and Sorkin manages to make it all relatable and meaningful.
  • C'mon, who else can write a Crazy Is Cool, profanity laden, Reference Over Dosed screenplay better than Quentin Tarantino?
  • Hereditary is genuinely one of the most realistic, agonizing, and ultimately depressing portrayals of grief in film, but the crowning moment has to be the dinner scene. If you've watched the movie, you know what I'm talking about.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray may be old, but this troper first found it it in a library, flipping through it leaning on one of the shelves the way one does and ended up owning, about half a year later, 'two' beautifully-bound, very expensive copies both of which are extremely well-thumbed. The detail and emotional aspects of Dorian's shall-we-say descent are so beautiful and the characters of Basil and James Vane especially appeal to him.
  • KA Applegate; seriously, Animorphs is one of the best children series ever written (it's certainly the best scifi children series). It's dark and deep and absolutely beautiful. Everworld is fabulous and interesting and was cut short waay before its time. The fact that the ghostwritten books in both of these series are so much less awesome only speaks to how truly amazing and unique a writer she truly is.
  • Shogun and Noble House by James Clavell. I'm sure some of his other novels are just as rich in world building and characters, but these are the two I've read, and they are pleasures to read because of that.
  • For all the bashing he had endured for The Da Vinci Code, you gotta admit that Dan Brown really knows how to write thrillers. ;)
  • Terry Pratchett's writing is the best the world has ever seen!
    • I am an English major. I have read several examples of the world's classic literature, including Dickens, Faulkner, and Robert Frost. To hold Terry Pratchett against such a long, renowned list is incredible. I agree with you 100 percent.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the few authors who can do Purple Prose well.
    • Jacqueline Carey, if you don't mind a little S&M, is also terrific at Purple Prose.
    • Seconding J.R.R. Tolkien because not only did he redefine the fantasy genre, he also wrote fantastic characters and created multiple languages. He put so much depth into a world that he created only for those languages, that it's hard to believe he only has one mention on this page.
    • Are examples not allowed on this page? Because they should be. Things like the end of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad make me cry.
      • But the Men of Dor-lómin held the rearguard, as Húrin and Huor desired; for they did not wish in their hearts to leave the Northlands, and if they could not win back to their homes, there they would stand to the end. Thus was the treachery of Uldor redressed; and of all the deeds of war that the fathers of Men wrought in behalf of the Eldar, the last stand of the Men of Dor-lómin is most renowned.
    • Tolkien's poetry deserves a mention as well. Even the tragic poems (such as The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun) are a delight to read, they're just so hauntingly beautiful.
  • Diane Duane is a goddess. Go read The Wounded Sky and dare to disagree.
    • Diane Duane is not a Goddess. She is a Goddess of Goddesses and deserves to be worshiped by anyone ever.
      • Seriously, you owe it to yourself to read her work.
      • I agree absolutely. I think that Young Wizards is her BEST work ever for writes for kids and adults both. Every single character is seriously real. Nobody can ever, ever say that DD doesn't know how to write any kind of character. She gives each of them individual personalities (some authors think all teenagers act the same) and makes them realer. Than. Real. They could be someone you just walk by on the street or have a casual conversation with while waiting in line at the grocery store. I can't tell you how well she writes. The best thing to do is go to the library and pick up the first few books in the series.
      • This troper cries every time he reads So You Want To Be A Wizard, and has a tattoo of a quote from High Wizardry. Masterful.
      • Her take on the Romulans makes the most sense of any. If you have just read Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath's books, go thou and read The Romulan Way. It will get the bad taste out of your brain.
  • The works of Neil Gaiman are most wonderful, with complex characters and smooth writing.
  • If the last page of Time Regained does not give you a literary orgasm, you're an insensible monster (or possibly British).
    • Last page? All three thousand pages of In Search of Lost Time consist of excellent writing and deep character development. (Don't see why it matters, but I'm British.)
  • Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. The amazing story is one thing, but GOSH I wish I could wield verbs like him.
    • Seconded, seconded, SECONDED. It is not surprising that The New York Times called this a book that could be LIFE-CHANGING.
      • Thirded. It haunted me for days afterwards. The people, the themes, the story - that is what humanity is. It seemed... real. Not less real, not realer than real - realer than anything.
      • Fourthed. I got so emotional that I actually had to put the book down. This is a person who stayed dry-eyed all through Titanic.
      • Fifthed. One of the most beautiful last lines ever written, characters/writing/plot that engage you like you wouldn't believe, and the only book I've ever had to briefly stop reading because I couldn't actually see through my tears.
      • And Death, the lovable narrator? Perhaps the greatest, most unique voice since Vonnegut.
  • I worship Phillip Reeve. His works are so far-fetched but he makes them really work.
  • I can't believe I'm the first to mention Brandon Sanderson. Shame on you all! Brandon Sanderson has a literary Midas Touch, everything he writes is made of pure gold. His characters are brilliant, his magic systems are pure genius, and his plots take old tropes and take them in spectacular new directions. And he's finishing the Wheel of Time series and doing a darn good job of it, The Gathering Storm takes the decline in quality of the last several books in the series and reverses it and then some. If you like Egwene, you'll especially love it as it turns Egwene into a Crowning CHARACTER of Awesome!
    • While we're at it, Robert Jordan's run of The Wheel of Time is damn good. I didn't start reading critically until I started reading the series, and when you really get into Robert Jordan's writing, you can see a lot of clever tricks and call backs. That's not even mentioning the culture building skill Jordan has, or how well you feel you know the characters after Eleven Thousand pages. They aren't really likable, but they're realistic, and also really badass.
    • Back to Sanderson, he's currently working on what he plans to be his Magnus Opus. Right now, only two books came out, but he is succeeding and how.
  • Watership Down has some of the most gorgeous description that the world has ever seen, and pacing like no other. The way Richard Adams fills the silences of his story with lyrical and vivid depictions of the surroundings is an inspiration.
    • When I first read Watership Down as a child, I loved the story and characters immediately and read it several times. But I thought all descriptions of scenery by any author were by definition boring and the sort of thing one only pretended to like in order to pass an English exam. So I mentally hurried through, or outright skipped those descriptions. What a pleasure, to come back as an adult to a book I already knew and loved from childhood and find a whole new wonder in it that had been there all the time. It took me twenty years to be able to second your comment, but second it I do.
  • Lawrence Miles may be a textbook Small Name, Big Ego among Doctor Who fandom, but goddamn can he write. All of his books are absolutely crammed full of spectcular, HUGE, Mind Screw-y ideas, snarkalicious Magnificent Bastards, and off-the-charts "Holy Shit!" Quotient.
    • Trevor Braxendale's Doctor Who novel Prisoner of the Daleks is one of the best I have read, mostly because the Doctor manages to convince the Daleks that in order to win the war they are fighting, they have to help him find his keys, and when the Dalek High Inquisitor is exasperatedly trying to get him to remember where he left them, you can practically hear their vocal circuitry grinding in frustration as you read it.
  • If I could marry P. G. Wodehouse's writing, I would.
  • H. P. Lovecraft. Despite his Purple Prose and occasionally sparse descriptions, several of his stories have moments where they're genuinely disturbing. His livid, sometimes clinical visions of eldritch horrors and cities from beyond the stars are haunting and timeless. He also provided some lovely accounts of the New England countryside.
  • Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of only two novels of her's. It has no real action, no big plot twists nor any fantasy. It's about a young girl and her lawyer father who has to defend an innocent black man. This is a subject that on paper sounds so Anvilicious that you'd look away. But once you read it, you find that it is probably the most sensitive story ever written. It is handled with subtlety and with a fantastic view: That of a grown up looking back at her childhood.
    • It's also one of the books that suffers the stygma of being a "classic": Hype Backlash at its most egregious, hearing people go on about its "immortal message", blah, blah, blah, prevents so many people from giving it a chance. But if you actually read it, really read it rather than skimming or overanalyzing it, you'll see the real reason it's lasted all of these years: it's a good book. A really good book. The writing is honest, skillful, fun to read. Scout is real: the kind of kid you'd want to be friends with. Any lawyer, any father, any person who claims they don't aspire to be Atticus Finch is lying. One could gush for pages about the pure entertainment value of the book, pages more about the perfect way that Lee captures that child-voice in the back of your head, the part of your mind that never grows up, always calling out, "but that doesn't make sense!", baffled by injustice, coming up with ideas about how the world works, or ought to work. And how many authors can deal with such harsh subject matter realistically, yet still leave you with confidence in humanity, while simultaneously entertaining readers and breaking their hearts?
      • In a discussion at Salon about American literature, someone commented "It's about time a woman wrote the Great American Novel." And the reply was: A woman (Harper Lee) already did.
  • J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter isn't one of the most sensational book series of the decade for nothing. And this was just her first series. I'm sure I'm not alone in eagerly anticipating her next offerings to the world of literature.
    • Seconded. The Harry Potter series got better as it went because the writing was just that well written. She's incredibly talented and I pray she doesn't stop writing anytime soon.
    • Thirded. And it's not just that the books are well-written (which they are). A lot of people can get clever or pretty words on a page, but Rowling also has the gift of storytelling.
    • Oh, and now she really has proved that her gifts extend to other genres of writing as well.
  • Barbara Hambly may get stick from the Fan Dumb over Callista, but her Star Wars novels are some of the most gorgeously written prose to come out of that Verse, and her Han and Leia moments are damn near spot-on.
    • I've never read her Star Wars books, but her Darwath Trilogy is some damn fine writing, and some of the only high fantasy books I can stand reading (no offence to high fantasy fans, it's just not my cup of tea)
  • He's been mentioned before, but Aaron Allston deserves special mention for his work on the Star Wars Expanded Universe X-wing series. Seriously, the Wraith Squadron books are the Buffy of EU stories.
  • Diana Wynne Jones has a particular genius for making the most twisted and disparate subplots magically come together by the end of the book, and having things that you thought were random side elements turn out to be the key to a whole section of the plot. (A shining example, in my opinion, is Deep Secret. You think those two plots are unrelated? Think again.)
    • Seconded. I love her writing.
  • Douglas Adams, perhaps the only person on Earth who can write Exposition that is entertaining and rambling at the same time. Forget the dialogue — which is also incredible — just having him describe a character almost but not quite preform a simple action is not entirely unlike hilarity.
    • Not to mention the way he can manage to make an entirely hilarious anecdote also subtley yet powerfully meaningful without breaking the mood (or a sweat).
    • Or his ability to perfectly describe actions and feelings that you previously thought you were alone in experiencing.
      • woking: the experience of walking into a kitchen and forgetting what you wanted there
  • Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote masterpieces in at least six different genres (including both poetry and prose, "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", anyone?). He also invented the scientific detective genre (oh, Holmes might mock Dupin, but without Poe writing the former Doyle would have never written the latter), and either invented or defined the psychological horror.
  • George R. R. Martin writes the most real characters I've ever come across. He may also write an epic plot in a remarkably well built fantastical world, but it's the characters, who feel like real people that really gets to me. It makes me feel more immersed in the book than any other.
    • Not to mention how he puts in enough description that you feel like the world he's invented is real without slowing down the narrative at all!
  • Mark Z. Danielewski is god, to put it simply. House of Leaves and Only Revolutions were brilliant, as were The Whalestoe Letters.
  • It might sound shallow, but I love any literature that has Perfect People saying Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! (or indeed, Screw The Rules, I'm Doing Whatever I Want), facing minor, impotent obstacles, and winning in a shutout. Give me Ayn Rand, give me Robert Heinlein, heck, give me Twilight. Life is so much better when life is good.
  • Umberto Eco, especially Foucault's Pendulum, and especially the ending — one of the most beautiful pieces of writing ever penned
    • Seconded. Also, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, which I consider to be the Pendulum's mirror image. Bodoni and Belbo are opposites, one who writes remembering a life of sadness and the other writing about a full life he forgot. Eco also proves he can handle pop culture just like he can secret conspiracies. And the ending, oh god the ending.
  • I love Kinoko Nasu's writing to death. Yes, two-thirds of his works are porn with plot, but the plot is not only the focus, but a well done plot on top of that. Deep and interesting characters that all have their time in the spotlights, an easy-to-read yet well-laden writing style that mixes purple prose into near undiscernable amounts, and a 'Verse of '''badass''' that still manages to make life interesting beyond explosions of power. The only thing wrong with the Nasuverse is arguably the fandom.
  • Richard Dawkins, especially in Unweaving the Rainbow. Say what you like about his religious views, but the man is an AMAZING writer.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series. It's often-corny escapist fantasy, but it's really, really awesome, happy-making escapist fantasy.
    • Misty Lackey needs an editor to catch her clunkersnote , but her ability to create and tell a story is superb. So are her descriptions of raw human emotion, especially young people's. She wrote one of the first gay heroes in modern fantasy literature, certainly the first gay teenage hero. In some sections of Magic's Pawn, she normalizes homosexuality and reminds Vanyel — and the reader — that it occurs in nature. She may have saved lives.
  • Birdsong is a real Tear Jerker and a fantastic piece of post-modernist writing. The sex is totally not over-the-top - the rampant desire and lust makes a gorgeous contrast to the true comeraderie of the trenches and the emotions Stephen feels for Isabelle and later Jeanne. The final scenes in the trenches, and the ending section where Elizabeth has her baby and names it as Stephen promised Jack he would name it just made the book for me.
  • Amy Tan is my idol.
  • Haruki Murakami. He's just as likely to hit you with a Funny Moment as he is a Heartwarming. In particular, the short stories in The Elephant Vanishes epitomize this. "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" is one of the most crushing and romantic stories ever, and the monologue's climax in "The Silence" never, ever, ever fails to give me goosebumps.
  • Raymond Chandler. From the man who gave us the First-Person Smartass Philip Marlowe: "I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between stars." Beautiful.
  • Tove Jansson is a Finnish writer and cartoonist, most famous for her Moomintroll books. She's also one of the best writers I've ever encountered. She does these simple, gorgeous stories that are perfect for children, without being condescending.
  • Matt Stover is hands-down one of the best modern authors and my personal favorite. His prose is both gritty and poetic, and as far as action scenes go, he's one of the few writers who's Shown Their Work. Some of his best stuff is The Acts of Caine series and his novelization for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which was honestly better written and more engaging than the actual film.
  • Anything by Kenneth Oppel. The guy's brilliant. He makes it realistic, detailed, and unable to be put down by readers while at the same time making it easy and fun to read.
  • Earth (The Book).
  • Jim Butcher. The man can take a relatively hackneyed premise (a wizard in the modern world or a roman based magic society) and turns it into a vessel for pure awesome, while managing to infuse amazing character moments into the work. For examples of awesome, just head to The Dresden Files or Codex Alera's Crowning Moment of Awesome pages. Examples of great moments for his characters are Molly's trial and Tavi's emotional and bitter breakdown in his tent when he realizes that the future for his people will be filled with petty bloodshed
  • Dirt Music by Tim Winton. The prose is exquisite, the emotions moving but subtle. The characters feel so real and understandable.
  • Stephen King isn't the king of horror for nothing.
  • Ryk E. Spoor's Grand Central Arena (careful, that's only half the book, you'll be hooked). Tropey and awesome. It's full of random allusions, magic, science and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, and speeds along like an express train. Never have I read so many cliffhangers in one book. *fans self* Plus the protagonist, and several of the supporting characters, are completely badass.
  • Roger Zelazny's writing is usually pretty weird, but he is a master of the English language. There are more references in any given book than anyone can possibly get. He will work in an entire plotline in one book just for a good one-liner two books later, and still have it make perfect sense. He can make you cry about a completely ridiculous situation in under three pages. Every time I read one of his books, I notice something clever I hadn't seen before.
  • This troper will worship Jane Austen forever. Her wit, sarcasm, and social commentary can't be matched, and she understands how love can blossom in different ways.
  • T.H. White's The Once and Future King is my favorite book. The characters are the main reason for that, as one can sympathize with them even as they cause the downfall of a civilization because of selfish reasons. The prose is frank yet lyrical in that mid-20th century fantasy novel sort of way. Perhaps the biggest appeal of The Once and Future King is that it deals with such heartrending themes of war, hate, oppression, and cruelty while still retaining some hope and never losing sight of its moral compass. Also, the antics of King Pellinore, Sir Palomides, and Sir Grummore never fail to make me smile.
  • Isabel Allende's books have what made this troper's boring summer bearable, particularly "Daughter of Fortune," "Island Beneath the Sea," and "The Portrait in Sepia." In her books she creates these colourful, passionate characters who fight their way through life's hardships like soldiers and make you wish you could be there fighting with them.
  • Dan Abnett. Gaunt's Ghostsis what he's best known for, but really, if it can be told by words on paper, he's probably written for it!
  • Nothing is more fun than cracking open a volume of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and just...reading the chapter titles. Here's the list from book 3 I can't think of any better way to sum up the hilarious first-person narration of the first series.
  • Despite its Squicky subject matter, Lolita is hilarious. Nabokov has some of the most clever turns of phrase I've ever read, and while it's hard to sympathise with the protagonist, he's charming and clever enough that you admire his words, if not his actions.
  • Here's a vote for the great Greer Gilman and her quixotic heroine Ariane in Moonwise. She's written mind-blowing books since, and is one helluva Shakespeare scholar, but Moonwise has a unique sensual reality. Like the pockets in Ariane's Badass Longcoat, you don't know what kind of delicious gift or treat is going to turn up next. It's also the most cinematic of her books.
  • Peter S. Beagle, y'all. The Last Unicorn? Show me a book more simple, more sorrowful, more ultimately kind. Try these quotes on for size:
    • "'Cruel?' she asked. 'How can I be cruel? That is for mortals.' But then she did raise her eyes, and they were great with sorrow, and something very near to mockery. She said, 'So is kindness.'
    • "And as for you and the things you said and didn't say, she will remember them all, when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits."
    • "Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back."
  • C. S. Lewis, but not for Narnia - his best book by far was Till We Have Faces. Orual is such a wonderfully written character; she is CONVINCED that she is right, and the way she explains it, you agree with her... and then she realizes she was wrong all along. The way CS Lewis handles the transition is powerful and gentle, and far kinder than how the character might have been treated by other writers.
    • "You also shall be Psyche."
  • despite boasting a considerable hatedome for some fairly legitimate reasons, the mortal instruments books by Cassandra Clare continues to remain my favorite YA series of all time. Malec,anyone?
  • "I understand there are some people who do not believe that Mark Twain was God, but number me not among these heretics. It was balm to my soul to discover him, because I had previously thought that James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving were supposed to be writers. The day I found Mark Twain's essay about the literary offenses of Cooper was the day I came of age, whatever the vital statistics say." Thus spake Robert Paul Smith (author of How to do nothing with nobody all alone by yourself), and I heartily concur with his judgment.
  • Patti Smith. As a young woman she published several volumes of poetry and short stories; her more recent writings are gentle, bemused narratives about her cats, her husband Fred and her friends, wandering around in New York, and her travels to honor and learn about various artists. She is also on a perpetual search for a good cup of coffee, quite reasonable for someone who tends to fall asleep in the middle of things. She may have narcolepsy, but in any case frequently seems to fall asleep without realizing it, so she (and you) may be awake or dreaming at any point in the journey.

    Live Action TV 
  • Russell T Davies's writing on Torchwood: Children of Earth was amazingly effective. The discussion the politicians had about what to do and which children to sacrifice was painfully well observed.
  • Steven Moffat is the god of Mood Whiplash on Doctor Who. And he makes it work.
  • Sherlock. You get Mark Gatiss AND Steven Moffat working together on remaking one of the greatest detectives ever made, and they just nail it. They create fantastic characters like Lestrade and Moriarty almost out of white cloth (given the minimum characterization they get in Sir Arthur's actual works). The dialogue is just brilliant and fits the characters and the modern universe perfectly, with as few slip-ups as humanly possible.
  • If we're talking Moffat, we've got to mention Coupling still one of the most outrageously there-are-actually-tears-in-my-eyes funny shows out there. The storylines are wackily convoluted, and yet because of snappy dialogue and pristine comic timing, it just works. I mean, come on, "she thinks I collect women's ears in a bucket?" That's good shit.
  • The storylines and dialogue that Chris Fredak and Josh Schwartz come up with for Chuck is unrivaled anywhere else on television.
  • Pushing Daisies is responsible for some of the most clever and unconventional dialogue on television. Just look at the end of "Bitter Sweets", where comparing one's girlfriend to a severed limb is made into the sweetest, most romantic thing ever.
  • I would like to praise the writing for Sanctuary's third season's third episode, "Bank Job." The dialogue is snappy, witty, clever, and colorful, and the episode is written as, for the most part, an Elevator Drama, so they were able to save hugely on budget. More of this please.
  • NCIS: I laugh every week. The writing is funny and smart and unpredictable and sometimes totally heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. It's just so amazing.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Sure, both casts were stellar, but the writing... dear God, the writing!
  • The Big Bang Theory. The science gags are hilarious if you understand them. Sure, season 3 was fairly weak, but the first two seasons were wonderful and season 4 should be interesting from the details that have been leaked. And it only gets better from there! It's the most intelligent sitcom on TV!
  • Glee. On the surface, it seems like your standard, run-of-the-mill high school sitcom, but it soon reveals itself as a subversive, tongue-in-cheek, and yet surprisingly powerful and realistic view on high school life. Oh, and just so you know, the first real episode was the only thing on T.V to ever make me roll over laughing.
    • Seconded. Glee was the first show to make me cry over something other than a character's death. On top of all that, it's the most relatable show on TV. Every theater geek can relate to something on this show. The show hasn't gotten 19 emmy nominations for nothing!
  • The Sopranos has some of the best writing I've seen anywhere. The character development (in particular, the way the show spends years building a psychological profile for Tony), the way it sticks to and expresses its themes, its use of dark comedy and symbolism...It's just mind-blowing! If you don't believe me, watch the season one episode "College." It has every element I just described, with great pacing and character interactions.
  • For me, Scrubs episodes from Seasons 1-5 were stellar. Great original cast, fantastic music, exciting guest stars, and thoughtful themes throughout.
  • 24 is basically a university class on how to write a thriller. The pacing, the cliffhangers, and the spot-on dialogue are the reasons it's the best hour of television.
    • Seconding. Not to mention the Character Development that everyone gets, even random bureaucrats and villainous sidekicks. The writers make every second count and are masters of putting in key character details that go by quickly (in real time!) but add up to characters that feel like real people.
  • The West Wing. The only show that's ever made politics absolutely fascinating, and it's down to incredible writing delivered by incredible actors.
  • Boston Legal. David E. Kelley, you hilarious, Anvilicious, Magnificent Bastard. And Alan and Denny's conversation about love between two men was just extraordinary.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Few people could have taken a series as both iconic and beloved as the Terminator mythos and expanded upon it in such depth, but dammit, the writing team did.
  • The 2010 "Parenthood". The writing feels far more genuine than any other family drama currently on television. They talk over one another, the parents sound like parents I know and the kids sound like kids I know. The plotlines aren't always perfect, but they are well-written.
  • For all it's brilliant comedians, The Daily Show wouldn't be nearly as funny or intelligent as it is now without it's writers (many of which are correspondents on the show).
  • Modern Family captures the trials and tribulations of family life and parenthood without being corny, trite or put upon, and it's all credit to the writers.
  • Star Trek there is a damn good reason we are still talking about this show forty years later and that the others ran for almost twenty concurrent years . The various shows pioneered so many ideas from The Worf Effect to the Story Arc. There is such an amazing balance of morality play and monster of the week and action adventure, they have heart and soul and character and so MUCH of it. "Spock's Brain" and Wesley aside the good far outweighs the bad. I have no doubt that forty years from now people will still be talking about the awesome that is Trek.
    • One point that's of note is Captain Picard's backstory. He got stabbed by a Nausicaan, and he developed the sensible personality soon after, yet, unlike how most shows would play that out, he didn't become sensible because of the Nausicaan. "Tapestry" shows that, if the Nausicaan hadn't stabbed him, he still would've become serious and level-headed; he just would have been less ambitious.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): say what you will about the ending there is no doubt this was one of the best shows on television period. From the breath taking pace of "33" to the brutal and horrific occupation to having some of the most amazingly fraked up characters around it was an fantastic emotional roller coaster ride that regularly had us saying WTF in the best possible way.
    • Seconded. The characters in this story are amazingly written, so that even when they did absolutely horrible things, I always was on their side.
    • While the ending, storywise, left a lot to be desired, character-wise it was an excellent close to their respective stories. The series was brilliant and even the weaker portions still had redeeming factors to them. In my opinion, the all time great sci-fi series.
      • One other thing to praise is the use of Deus Ex Machinas, of which this series has MANY. The reason they generally work so well is because a heavy religious context is brought in from the very beginning and a central part of the plot. This allows the plot devices to feel less like Ass Pulls and more like a true part of the story that was planned out and leads to both incredibly awesome moments as well as gut-wrenchingly emotional moments.
    • "Crossroads (Part 2)" is a personal favourite, for having the best courtroom monologue in fiction in nearly 15 years.
      • For me, the last act is the best cliffhanger I have seen or ever will see. The utter mass of WhamLines, one after another, cannot be topped.
  • At least the first season of Damages. From the very first shot of the first episode to the closing shot of the season, it is a brilliantly plotted legal drama that manages to portray its characters in the most human, complex manner I've seen on TV. It turns a civil lawsuit into an epic drama with fascinating twists and turns.
  • Doctor Who's premiere episode for the second Doctor "[[Doctor Who S4 E3 "The Power of the Daleks" The Power of The Daleks]"]. It's unbelievable just how well written, modern and BRUTAL the script is. All the characters are well-realized and have fully-fleshed out world views and motives. Add to this the very first regeneration—a bitter pill for the Doctor's companions to swallow—and the scariest the Daleks have ever been as they display unbelievable cunning and ruthlessness. Then it culminates in a very understated Moment of Awesome where a confused Dalek asks one of the characters why humans kill members of their own race. It's too bad this episode is lost, and we only have the reconstructions and novelization to go by.
    • Sweet Zombie Jesus, "City Of Death". Especially the inspired combination of goofiness and sophisticated deadpan snarkery that is the beginning of episode two. Douglas Adams was a genius.
    • The late, great Robert Holmes' work on Doctor Who was among the best the series had ever been. His dialogue, his characterization, his world-building, his macabre sense of humour, his pointed satire, his love of the grotesque, his delightful double acts and his deformed, ranting villains are just part of why the show has lasted.
  • Criminal Minds. This show is amazing. The writers have managed to think up a new (and disturbing) motivation for every serial killer for over a hundred episodes. But at the same time they've kept up a quirky, realistic cast of characters with some of the best ensemble chemistry on TV today. Plus the side characters; from the victims to the relatives and friends of the main characters are all so human and alive.
  • Burn Notice. It's a spy drama that plays straight many of the tropes associated with spy dramas, but does so in brilliant ways that make them feel fresh and unique. The Plans concocted in each episode and over each season are very clever without being confusing or unbelieveable. The characters and their interaction are well-written. Of course, I can't talk about Burn Notice without mentioning just how much the writers know about spies and subject areas of interest to spies (surveillance, rigging explosions, infil/exfiltration, interrogation, reverse interrogation, gaining a mark's trust, etc.). This show is one of the best examples of Shown Their Work that I've ever seen. In fact, it's almost hard to believe that the writers weren't spies themselves at some point. Nearly everything about the show is amazing, but the writing is without doubt the best part.
  • It's insanely admirable how a mere 22 minute formatted television comedy can be as cleverly written as Arrested Development. The series is filled with Continuity Nods, Running Jokes, and the intersecting subplots always find ways to build off of each other over time and in each individual episode. Seriously, if something seems minor, chances are it comes back into play later on.
    • Season 4 may not be looked upon in the friendliest light by all fans, but the writing stays undeniably crisp, with characters lives relying heavily on the escapades of the other family members, usually without even knowing so. Some episodes later reveal that a main character was just barely off-screen the entire time in a previous episode, though still affecting the story. It just goes to show that these writers know what they're doing.
  • Breaking Bad. Wonderful characters that receive healthy doses of Character Development as the show goes on, stellar acting work, incredibly powerful drama with lots of twists, masterful usage of {{Chekhov's Gun}}s, Foreshadowing and cliffhangers, and some of the most awesome moments in the history of TV that are born from the combination of all these factors! What's not to love about the show?
  • The Addams Family and how it averts stereotypes. Gomez is a father with quirks and enthusiasm but not a Bumbling Dad, the Addamses are rich but don't mistreat their servants or people who are not rich, Fester is oblivious but intelligent, Morticia and Wednesday are solemn, but not killjoys, the family aren't constantly at odds with one another, Morticia doesn't nag Gomez, Wednesday & Pugsley don't call their parents "embarrassing", Morticia respects Grandmama and she's not a Damsel in Distress, and above all, Dark Is Not Evil.
  • The Wire is, simply put, genius writing. Authentic, thoughtful and brutally uncompromising, it's one of the few series that actually does feel like it was planned out from the start, with every little detail paying off in some way down the line ("All the pieces matter"). It also boasts some of the best characterization on television, with every character feeling like a real person with an arc. There are no two-dimensional characters, an impressive feat considering the staggering number of main characters on display.

  • No music folder yet? Then I'll start it off by nominating Leonard Cohen, the greatest songwriter of the 20th century. He has an amazing gift for putting deep meanings into a very few words and making you look at things in a new way.
  • Circle Takes the Square and A Silver Mt. Zion both have some of my favorite lyrics (and music) anywhere. They have very different styles, but they both sound like they're coming from another planet.
  • So much by Vernian Process but especially "Her Clockwork Heart".
  • Relient K. Especially in their last three albums and their last EP. Their lyrics often have an incredibley poetic feel to them. Seriously, read the lyrics for Part Of It.
  • Soundgarden. Maybe it gets lost amid the admittedly awesome rocking out, but their lyrics often have a fantastically clean and elegant structure, without sounding overly clever about it. "Mailman" is one of the greatest fuck-you poems of all time.
  • "The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" by Brand New. The lyrics stick in my head for days after I hear it, it's my favorite song lyrically.
  • The Decemberists. Good lord they are a magical band. Lush instrumentals, intelligent lyrics, and Colin Meloy's very pretty voice.
  • This might be pushing it, seeing as the song in question has no lyrics, but I can't get enough of Camille Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre". The way the music is written is so hauntingly beautiful. The song can be found here: [1]
  • The Beatles, especially "All You Need Is Love", "Let It Be" and "Across the Universe". John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the greatest songwriters in the world, after all.
  • Tom Waits. Incredible writing, inspired music, and a voice that does everything. I am not sure he's ever had a bad album.
  • U2's music. All of it. The songs are wonderfully written and rich in meanings no matter how you interpret them. The themes are universal yet personal, and very often hit close to home. The delivery is bold yet gentle, and most of all, earnestly human. And the way all of it is incorporated into some of the most beautiful sounds humanity has ever heard is simply astonishing.
  • No list of great songwriters would be complete without Maynard James Keenan of Tool. The Lateralus album qualifies as a 77 minute long piece of Awesome Music. Many of his songs may as well be poems set to music, covering a diverse range of topics.
  • Gorillaz' unique genre-busting antics made them famous, but their lyrics are often the best part of any given song. The combination of subtlety and bluntness, honesty and eloquence makes them immutable in my book.
  • Great Big Sea does do some traditional music and the occasional cover, but their original pieces are what make them amazing. From the exuberant "When I Am King" to the haunting "Widow In the Window" to the Tear Jerker "Recruiting Sergeants", they prove over and over that they can tackle anything and not only do it, but do it brilliantly.
  • Pretty much any song by The Offspring is made of awesome! Their songs are intelligent, with healthy doses of dry humor and/or pathos as necessary. Their songs cover just about every topic under the sun, from personal relationships to political plays, and they do it all flawlessly.
  • I need to know why no one has said Brandon Boyd of Incubus yet. Both the lyrics and the music Incubus creates are pure beauty. Listen to "Drive" and tell me you aren't moved!
  • The Airborne Toxic Event, full stop. Some of the most touching, haunting, and poignant lyrics and songwriting I will most likely ever hear.
  • It has been noted that Billy Corgan's lyrics are more like poetry set to music. That observation's not half bad! Case in point: Thirty-Three
  • Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull has written some of the most poetically brilliant lyrics I've ever encountered. "Heavy Horses" (a moving tribute to the equine race) and "Broadford Bazaar" (a poignant description of a marketplace and a comment on economic strain) are two of my personal favourites. Even if you just read the lyrics by themselves, they seem like beautiful poems in their own right.
  • Martin L. Gore and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode are both capable of writing some very poetic lyrics about love and lust, without making it sound awkward, instead applying lots of emotional depth and making everything incredibly intense, and even melancholic. Their lyrics are also incredibly intimate, with them sometimes talking directly to the listener by using personal pronouns.
  • Jack Stauber has an incredible sound and art style that he incorporates into his work (I recommend taking a look at his Plopscotch art account on Instagram), and most of his work handles certain themes a thousand times better than most television shows. And can we bring up the fact that he started making albums at sixteen? Also, I'm jealous of his hair.

  • Joss Whedon and/or Aaron Allston (I maintain they're actually the same person). Yes, everything they've ever written. The reason? Because they balance drama and comedy so well. A lot of writers wind up with Mood Whiplash when they try to do both things, but these guys are just that good.
  • Anything and everything written by Heidi Thomas. Call the Midwife, Cranford, Ballet Shoes — there is no other writer able to balance drama and comedy so well, jerking the tears repeatedly without ever falling into melodrama, nor so excellent at creating believable characters with incredible depth in scant minutes of screen time. Her writing is always so understated, packing an emotional punch all out of proportion with the simplicity of the words, and she puts a thousand meanings into every single line. She's just... ugh. Heidi Thomas is the absolute best. To the point where Judi Dench (yes, THAT Judi Dench) called her writing "inspired" and "extraordinary".

  • The Big Finish Doctor Who story "Neverland" develops the Zagreus rhyme, which had started off as a quiet nursery rhyme, into a full-blown epic. Using anaphora, epistrophe, parallelisms and a Where the Wild Things Are slant, it's well worth quoting.
    Zagreus sits inside your head,
    Zagreus lives among the dead,
    Zagreus sees you in your bed,
    And eats you when you're sleeping.

    Zagreus at the end of days,
    Zagreus lies all other ways,
    Zagreus comes when time's a maze
    And all of history's weeping.
    And he set then his course
    To a scar on the face of Creation
    Where the stars lived and died in the churn of one night
    Where the mountains might move in the blink of an eyenote 
    And decay was the only true constant.

    And the gate of Zagreus opened before him
    And all of the Antiverse was revealed to him
    And its terrible beauty ached in his hearts.
    Zagreus waits at the end of the world
    For Zagreus is the end of the world
    His time is the end of time
    And his moment, Time's undoing.

    Video Games 
  • I find it inspiring that a video game like BioShock can spark real-life debates about Objectivism and the like.
  • I am very happy to have found a place to wax lyrical about Kingdom Hearts. It's one of the most emotional, nostalgic, heart-warming game series I've ever played.
    • Seconded, particularly for the original game. Jun Akiyama, come back to us!
  • Also, Ratchet & Clank. What Kingdom Hearts is to heartwarming moments, R and C is to funny ones.
  • Raiden Trad. Just the title. The game is part of a series of vertical Shoot 'Em Up games, which are decent, but I love how the title of this one just rolls off the tongue.
  • The English translation (no idea about the original Japanese version) of Baten Kaitos Origins is amazingly brilliant. Not only is the dialogue very well written, the story's self-aware nature comes as a pleasant surprise. Then again, it was translated by Nintendo, who have a bit more money to spend on this sort of thing than Bandai Namco Entertainment did for the first game, but still at times it's hard to believe that both games come from the same series.
  • The last thing one might have expected from a Rated M for Manly game like Gears of War was the scene where Dom has to euthanize Maria. What was even more unexpected was how absolutely heartrending and beautifully tragic said scene was.
  • Mother. The whole series in fact. There are so few games out there that manage to convey so much emotions in you. You can laugh, get scared, and maybe even cry. In the end, the series is so well-written that it's impossible not to feel something.
  • Metal Gear Solid! Sure, the exposition is a bit silly, and the dialogue a little odd. But the absolutely on-the-money deconstruction, wonderful characterisations, and deep satire running through the games is enough to cause palpitations in gamers. The Ho Yay alone is one of the best Ho Yay examples ever.
    • TOO much info.
  • Star Control II. One of its most praised strengths is its stellar prose, full of humor and beautiful in style; it's like the Charles Dickens of video gaming. Each alien race you meet speaks in their own unique way. See it all here.
  • The Ace Attorney writers are AMAZING. Seriously, how can you NOT love them? The characters are rich, the story lines are absolute madness, and every character is awesome in their own way. Especially the girls. Holy Christ the girls. *_*
  • From the same people at Capcom, Ghost Trick. That's how a mystery should be done: plot twist after plot twist, extremely far-reaching Foreshadowing and in the end, everything makes perfect sense in an unexpected way. And that's not even getting to the characters...
  • Iji. You can whizz through the game without reading the logbooks at all, but if you take the time to explore them, they develop a whole world and make the ending even more of a Tear Jerker than it is anyway.
  • for me Rockstar (more specifically Dan Houser) Grew the Beard with this generation of gaming in terms of writing, while san andreas had great lines and a good story it wasn't nearly as interesting as niko bellic story. not only they manage to create a living world but they created a character with a reasonable amount of Mangst whose mission to find the man who betrayed him during the war is one of the most compelling stories i've ever heard, it's greatly written, funny motivates you to the end and makes you care for all the characters, and that says something when most series or Games manage to always have an scrappy, and the there's Marston who's pretty much John Wayne And Clint Eastwood Child, someone who's backstory is painful and his motivation it's pure but he's also an anti-hero, sure the story is weak (although your mileage may vary) during the first act but the second you hear far away you'll understand it's one of the greatest games of all time.
  • Persona 3 and Persona 4 are both amazing dissertations of humanity, our flaws, our triumphs, and our connections to each other. Both games have recognizable main themes that are continually reinforced through the characters and social links, and have such varied insights into those themes that it never feels like you're being hit over the head with it. They're the only RPGs I have played that created a world with such emotional connections that I truly wanted to give everything I could to save it. Absolutely phenomenal.
  • Professor Layton, particularly the second and third games. The plot just always sounds so fantastic and farfetched at first, but they always manage to reach a "scientific", logical conclusion in the end without subtracting from the feeling of magic and hope throughout the story. The characters are simply full of life and interaction between characters are always greatly written. Full of many, many Heartwarming,, Funny, and tearjerking moments.
  • Spec Ops: The Line is one of the best narrative driven games period. It really made me felt something different in video games, something that no other games done. Thought provoking by combining mechanics and narrative in the best way possible, and it really is a game where a decision is a moral dilemma.
  • The Mass Effect series, true to BioWare fashion. Everything is just so carefully thought out with detail, care, creativity and love that it has successfully reconstructed the Space Opera genre for many. The speeches in particular are very well-written, and the humour present for the entirety of the game adds to the story and characters rather than overshadow the main conflict. The plot is solid, everything builds up to a beatiful crescendo and resolves it just well enough to leave the player content yet wanting for more.
    • Mass Effect 2 had one of the greatest cast of characters ever in a video game. They were so well-written, had so much depth, great backstories, and actually made you care whether they live or died. As a game meant to be bridging to Mass Effect 3 BioWare chose the perfect way to do it. They've always done excellent in terms of storytelling, character development, and overall writing, but they outdid themselves with Mass Effect 2.
  • While Dragon Age II has a lot of flaws (something that I went over in a review) one thing that is so right about it is its storyline. It was arguably my favorite fantasy story since Pan's Labyrinth. The excellent cast of characters, the grey morality with every character and faction having enormous flaws, it was about as compelling of a fantasy story as I could ask for and it allowed me to overlook the flaws that it had.
  • The writing in the Assassin's Creed series is pretty great, but special mention has to go to the underappreciated first game. The conversations you share with every target as they lie bleeding to death are nothing short of captivating. They can make you respect the men whose lives you've just taken and occasionally even pity them. The way Altaïr's Character Development comes from seeing these men defend their actions and realising that, even with a noble goal, men can commit acts of great evil, is far detached from the stigma the gaming industry has for being filled with Excuse Plots.
  • Alpha Protocol has one of the most complex and tightly woven plots in gaming. It has a cast that runs the gamut from the deadly serious to the comically insane, with a dozen interweaving threads dealing with issues of betrayal, government control, trust, and deception. And on top of that, the sheer number of plot threads and paths you can follow, and the lack of established morality - only results that you're looking for - make it a stunning game.
  • Thief bleeds of this— its setting combines dark fantasy and steampunk in a stunningly effective way that is successfully integrated into pretty much every aspect of the plot and gameplay. The small bits of information placed at your disposal as you explore the City make the world come alive around you as you can delve into the thoughts and motivations of each and every character based on their background, and appreciate that each of them has a wonderfully tangible, unique behaviour, and that anywhere you go, you can use this knowledge to work out how everything fits into the universe. The plot and climax of Thief 2 is also wonderfully tight, well-driven and suspenseful.
  • Whoever translated Final Fantasy Tactics - the PSP port - is brilliant. It's not the plot - although that's pretty solid when it's not a bit confusing - it's the style. Every line has been morphed from the PS1's stock translation to this beautiful, elevated, almost Shakespearean-sounding dialogue. Purple Prose has never been this delicious.
    Wiegraf: Hah! No spoony bard could spin a sweeter tale! You say your brothers do not want this fight? Tears, then, for the world you see is one beyond my weary sight.
    • Final Fantasy XII was given the same treatment as above, to the point where certain characters actually speak in iambic pentameter. It only helps that the game comes with Balthier, the smoothest-talking criminal in the whole franchise:
      Vaan: So...our things are in here?
      Balthier: That's what I said.
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors has some thoroughly engaging writing, even if it does get a bit verbose sometimes. The characters bounce off eachother amazingly, and it has a humor and charm to it that is great. And the use of the bottom screen for narration is neat, and it becomes even neater with 5 words, "He knew because I knew."
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon manages to have some of the best writing in the entire Pokemon franchise, especially the second game. While it may initally seem like just a normal Nintendo story, your jaw will probably be on the floor by the end of the game. From the memorable and engaging characters, to the clever and shocking plot twists, to the utterly beautiful ending, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon manages to charm and surprise from start to finish.
  • Dragalia Lost has pretty excellent writing. The individual characters and dragons have well-thought out backstories and personalities, the main story has its charm and intrigue, and the events have their own developed plots. The crossovers are no exception: Cygames has Shown Their Work regarding cameo franchises, with guest characters remaining truthful to their source material.

    Web Comics 
  • Penny Arcade has a writing style that reminds me a lot of Looney Tunes and Animaniacs: it uses references to games, but it structures the jokes so that you don't have to get the reference to get the joke. I can show my mother, who barely knows anything about video games or gamer culture a PA strip and she'll find the comic funny.
    • Questionable Content did the same thing with indie culture in its early days. At the time, it was supposed to be a comic about indie music, but the characters' witty banter was what made it great, and still does. This helped the comic move beyond its original niche, and eventually the focus on indie music was dropped entirely.
  • Digger. The characters are beautifully brought to life, the philosophical conversations are deep and unsettling, and the emotional climaxes leave lasting scars.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court is one of the greatest webcomic series I have ever read.
    • Fervently seconded. The artwork, the atmosphere, the weird, vaguely-creepy-but-vaguely-cute mythology... And the Robot King!
  • El Goonish Shive. The writing, like the art, gets better. DRASTICALLY better.
  • Homestuck. Just...everything about Homestuck. The odd, occasionally dark, but ever-present sense of humour. The way every single character, no matter how small, has a clearly distinct voice and characterisation. The way Andrew Hussie manages to pack in so much information that just seems to set up the mood or a joke but then turns out to be incredibly important later on, and the way you can never tell the difference between when he makes shit up as he goes along and when he plans things years in advance. The way it is capable of making you laugh, cry, and d'awwww all at the same time. The way all the characters get to do something awesome, rather than there being just one hero and a bunch of sidekicks. The way the ridiculous number of Call Backs, Ironic Echos, and Continuity Nods all wrap together into an incredibly coherent work, making it fun both for casual readers and the more dedicated fans. Even just his writing style, which can run the gamut from over-the-top Purple Prose to the beigest of Buffy Speak and all the while sound just so distinctly Homestuck. All of Homestuck. All of it.
    • And please, do not forget about the awesome music. Some of the tracks are the ones who makes you shiver, melt or flood your insides with smiles, fear, or makes you want to create something.
    • Besides, the great animations, the games, and the interaction between Hussie and the fans make it even more marvelous.
  • Can we talk about The Order of the Stick? Can we talk about the incredibly intricate and well-planned plots? Can we talk about the clever trope twisting? Can we talk about the fact that it somehow makes an epic magic battle look totally badass even though everyone involved is a stick figure?

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Ironwood's descent into villainy was, in my opinion, done brilliantly. From the beginning, he was the strict, intense general—hell, in volume 3, he said he'd have a soldier who behaved like Qrow (drunk and disorderly) shot. He was willing to do whatever it took to win—but volumes 7 and 8 saw that taken to the logical extreme as the stakes grew dire, where he threatened to nuke a massive city for a chance at saving anyone from the Big Bad. He never fundamentally changed—he just grew desperate, and willing to use his force against the heroes once they were on different sides.
    • The last couple minutes of Gravity give me chills every time. It captures the intensity and urgency of the situation so well, and the way the music builds to a crescendo just as Ruby uses her Semblance to buy herself time is great.

    Web Original 
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. All of it !
    • The plausibility : sure, there is something strange about a girl speaking of everyone's private life on the internet. But it becomes much less strange when she is a Stepford Snarker dealing with materialistic and slightly sexist family, friends and neighborhood, needing an outlet, and whose friend publishes everything (even the parts she is supposed to cut out) because she is looking for a job and needs the viewers to get invested. Once you start believing in it (and the people who don't get that it's inspired from Pride and Prejudice usually believe it is a legit vlog), it gets even funnier, cuter, sadder and brillanter.
    • The characters : Lizzie being a Stepford Snarker grumpy idealist with no brain-to-mouth filter and a tendency to get too invested and caricature what happens gives the whole vlog an upbeat, effective style, but also creates some big What the Hell, Hero? from other characters who want her to be more subtle. Charlotte's relative cynicism, her determination and her ambition are really polarizing and create a wide range of reaction when she clashes with Lizzie. Jane is so cute, sweet and vulnerable on a modern and believable way that no claims of Purity Sue could ever be laid on her. And Lydia is just as infuriatingly irresponsible as she is awesome, vulnerable and hilarious, being a source of Funny Moments quickly followed by many Tear Jerker, Heartwarming Moments, and occasionally a Moment of Awesome.
    • The references: Pride and Prejudice gets many clever references ("I always forget about Mary !") and Jane Austen in general is the source of many in-jokes about jane austenites ("Mary Crawford ?", "Eddie was supposed to take me to Mansfield Park... ", "And what were they reading ?" "Sense and Sensibility!"). Every big geeky fandom ever is referenced. Doctor Who gets an episode resume in Maria Lucas's vlog.
    • The implications. We have a feministic narrator in an ethnically diverse cast trying to see through everyone's situation and analyze it. The Proper Lady finds a job and blooms because of it, the Workaholic isn't ashamed of her ambition, the Hard-Drinking Party Girl is certainly a Chivalrous Pervert (and an awesome one) and the villains and antagonists are ambitious and bigoted people who try to defend a rigid social class system or harsh gender stereotypes...
  • PewDiePie has his own page.

    Western Animation 
  • The numerous character moments in Avatar: The Last Airbender are some of the most well-written of any I've seen in any television show, particularly one intended for children. The dialogue has made me laugh, cry, and feel more than any other show in this medium. The entire show, but particularly Book 2, also had excellent pacing and plot development.
  • In that same vein, The Legend of Korra is amazingly well-written. Every episode just keeps getting better and better, with more twists and turns than a maze. In addition, the dialogue gives me so many feels at once.
    • A very special round of applause has to go to book 3 for being the best possible season in the entire franchise. It takes everything good about both shows and weaves these good aspects together so well. Also, this book managed to do really well in the continuity department. The best part is that, while there were many filler moments in Airbender and previous seasons of Korra, not a single moment in book 3 of The Legend of Korra feels wasted because every single moment has some level of overall importance to the story.
    • Part of what made Korra awesome was that it was written to deal with problems that are relevant to the audience. Terrorism, corrupt governments, and Kuvira's appeal to strength of a strong leader, Korra didn't talk down to the audience with simple plotlines. It showed them problems and trusted that they would be intelligent to understand what was happening.
  • The characters in The Venture Brothers just get deeper and more three-dimensional as the show goes on, and then there's the incredibly clever dialogue! Every character sounds unique, and their personalities just shine through their Seinfeldian Conversation.
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast is wonderfully put together. The story's premise pretty much requires a subversion of Beauty Equals Goodness, and they did a marvelous job of it. No character feels extraneous or unnecessary to the plot, and every major moment hits just the right emotional chords. One of the best creative teams ever assembled worked on that film, and it shows to this day.
  • Because Hanna-Barbera cartoons had limited animation, they relied on good writing to survive. And OH BOY did they have some good writing. When I was a little kid, these cartoons gave me my first real taste of both Sitcom and Drama. Since, I couldn't watch the "adult" dramas like Law & Order, I'd get my dose of excitement by wondering how Lok would escape the cave of winds, or how the Three Musketeers would defeat King's evil twin brother. And when the jokes on normal sitcoms would go over my head, I would turn to Scooby-Doo or Wacky Races and laugh my head off at the clever jokes. Without cartoons like these, I might have been forced to watch bland stuff like *shudder* The Get Along Gang. Yes, Hanna-Barbera introduced me to the wonders of well-written shows, and saved from a lifetime or boredom.
  • The sweet little speech after the supernova sequence in Treasure Planet. I spent a near hour looking, but cannot find a single trope to describe that scene except for Heartwarming Moment. It's backed by wonderful music, great acting, and that hug! Intergenerational Friendship and Parental Substitute at it's freaking best.
  • Justice League Unlimited is in so many ways a perfect superhero cartoon. The characters don't just spout catchphrases like "Great Hera" or "Holy Whatever." They have clearly defined personalities. They have relationships with each other. On occasion, they're at each other's throats, but they're still True Companions. See: the episode where Flash is almost lost to the Speed Force for proof. And lesser-known, never-before-animated characters, like Hawk, Dove, Green Arrow, and Black Canary, get to shine, too.
    • The first Justice League's writing is just good. The first episode includes talks about nuclear disarmament, helping to prove a kid's show can talk about serious subjects and do it well without having to take away from the action.
  • The beautiful, refreshing lack of Sibling Rivalry tropes in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. Think about it-ten children, all with one main personality trait, in a show that's more about action than character. It could have gone wrong in so many ways, and yet look what we've got. Tomboy and Girly Girl sisters who aren't constantly at odds with each other, altercations that don't escalate into resentment and dysfunction, the kids care more about solving the cases and working together than their differences. Makes me smile just typing about it.
  • Phineas and Ferb is one of the best kids' cartoons I've ever seen, and it airs on a channel showing mostly stuff I really dislike. The way they have managed to merge all the elements together into one show is astounding. I mean if you went to a TV Executive and said (say it in Doofenshmirtz's voice) "Right, I have an idea for a show, it's about two boys who are step-brothers who build machines that break the laws of physics while their sister (who sees an invisible Zebra) tries to report them to their mother, and their pet Platypus is a secret agent who foils the plots of a Mad Scientist, usually causing whatever the boys are building/have built to be destroyed just before their mother comes back." I doubt it'd get off the ground.
    • Special mention goes to the time they created a trailer for a meap sequel they never intended to make, and then made that sequel, incorporating all the random unrelated clips.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: It's so refreshing in this day and age of cartoons featuring brainless sociopaths to see a show with such well developed and memorable characters and plots that don't end with needless cruelty. It's also rare to see a show that beautifully plays Aesops straight, instead of cruelly parodying them. Best of all, despite having a mostly female cast, the show and it's characters are well rounded enough to appeal to all ages, of either gender.
  • Futurama has some of the most intelligent writers for any television series. Special mention goes to a scene from "The Lesser of Two Evils", in a scene where Bender and Flexo discover that their serial numbers are both expressible as the sum of two cubes.
  • Having finished watching all of The Spectacular Spider-Man on Blu-Ray, I wanted to reaffirm just how well-written this series is. Strong continuity throughout, tons of little injokes and references to the character's history from the beginning all the way to present day, several bits of foreshadowing and subtle hints to future twists that are fun to catch on a rewatch, excellent characterization for both the supporting characters and even most of the antagonists, and mature enough to appeal to an adult audience while remaining kid-friendly beginning to end allowing it to be viewed by all ages.
  • Gravity Falls is so surprisingly well written that I consider this to be one of the best cartoons out there. literally ANYTHING is possible in there, the foreshadowing is great and most of the characters are just so great, you will even grow to love the characters you somewhat disliked at first.
  • Martha Speaks: The talking dog sees the world from a dog's point of view and it averts Viewers Are Morons. Plus, there's no stereotyping.
  • Milo: Sure, it seems like a basic kids' show at first, but it manages to avert some cliches seen on other children's shows and it's also fun to watch. Examples of cliches it averts are that George is not a Bumbling Dad, the parents never scold the kids but they have personalities, names and are not Parent ex Machina's, older children (with the exception of Elise's brother) are nice to younger children, Aesops happen but most of them are not Anvilicious and not every episode has one. And there's also no sexism (except in episodes that teach against sexism.)
  • I absolutely adore the writing in Ready Jet Go!. For a show that is targeted towards the younger set, the dialogue is clever, snarky, and witty, with plenty of Parental Bonuses (because what kid would get a Whole-Plot Reference to My Fair Lady?). There is also zero Fake Interactivity, and the Aesops and science lessons are woven deftly into the storylines instead of shoved down your throat. The characters work off each other well and have deep personalities, including Sean, Mitchell, Sydney, Jet, Carrot and Celery, Dr. Skelley, Dr. Bergs, Zerk (who gets a lot of Character Development), and Dr. Rafferty
  • Molly of Denali has some pretty good writing most of the time. The writers really did their research on Alaska Native culture and traditions, and there are plenty of Gwich'in, Koyukon, Dena'ina, etc words sprinkled into the dialogue. Besides that, the show does a great job at fleshing out the characters, even the adults. Usually in kids shows, the adults are morons or are only there to support the kids, but the adults in this show are well-rounded and have their own stories, personalities, and flaws. Molly's parents, Walter and Layla, and her grandpa, Nat, and they feel like real people rather than caricatures. The fact that they actually name the parents is a good sign.