Who is on your "Cabinet of Invisible Counselors"

Cthulhu.Science

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Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich suggested that one way of focusing your energy for success by creating a Cabinet of Invisible Counselors.

As writers, if you could invite any five people, living or dead, to act as counselors who would it be?

My initial group would be:
1. Umberto Eco
2. Kurt Vonnegut
3. Isaac Asimov
4. HP Lovecraft
5. _________

One left blank for me to contemplate further.
 
1. Ray Bradbury (seemed to have a lot of heart)
2. Richard Matheson (quite creative)
3. H.G. Wells (for his ideas' prescience)
4. Neil Gaiman (my favorite fantasy author)
5. Harlan Ellison (he had a big mouth but I think he had interesting ideas)
 
Tony Hillerman [or his daughter Anne] - He writes the way I want to [and she is pretty good too]
Sir Terry Pratchett - I think he would be a good sounding board [as well as an all-round good egg]
Whoever wrote the Nibelungenlied - when I read it and then I "got" what Tolkien was doing [and you know... Wagner]
David Gemmell - Another sparse dry writer, who could make a few words say a lot [and also taken too soon]
My friend Dani - the best writer I know, and always calls me of my sh!t.
 
R. Feynman
B.M. Fuller
L. Wittgenstein
U.K. Le Guin
Heraclitus and Parmenides
 
Homer (provided someone can help me with understanding his Greek.)
Shakespeare
Jules Verne
Jack Vance
Gene Wolfe
 
Definitely George Orwell and Tom Lehrer, but after that, I'm not sure.
 
No list is ever complete, or final.

I think my list would include Iain M. Banks, Douglas Adams, George Lucas and i think, perhaps the comedian Bill Hicks. (I'd love to know what he thinks of the societal issues of today.)
 
GREGG WALLACE
GREGG WALLACE
GREGG WALLACE
BRIAN BLESSED!
GREGG WALLACE

(actually my nightmare)
 
I shall have to think about this but someone with good reading comprehension as it took me a very long time of wondering why everyone was picking writers to realise the first post said "as writers".
 
On scant thought...

Ursula Le Guin (a mistress of prose, a source of interesting ideas about the world, and an excellent teacher)
Jeff VanderMeer (full of weird worldbuilding ideas and an incredibly thoughtful mind on the art of writing, as can be seen from Wonderbook and the anthologies he edits)
Guy Gavriel Kay (love the directions his work goes, plus anyone who can help put the Silmarillion together knows a thing or too about editing)
David Gemmell (a master of visceral writing)
Lindsey Davis (very funny, excellent research, fine mysteries)

I reserve the right to completely change this tomorrow.
 
I think it sort of presupposes that our counsellors would be people we admire as writers rather than somebody we could learn from effectively.

So although I’d love to have counsellors like Michael McDowell and Stephen King, I think my list would be:

1) Ray Bradbury — for his incomparable enthusiasm and constant reminders that your art belongs to you and that the rules and structures of writing are there as a guideline not as law. He also is a proponent of writers getting out and experiencing life rather than sitting at a desk and escaping it.

2) EM Forster — as my favourite classical author I love his wit and comments on society. I think I could learn from him how to embed my politics in my writing without it coming across as a polemic.

3) Madonna — arguably one of the most influential women in modern times in respect of representation of women’s rights, women’s autonomy, agency and creativity.

4) Tade Thompson — award-winning author and friend of the Chronscast from which I’ve developed a friendship with him. As an author of Nigerian heritage he’s has become as important to genre fiction as Ben Okri has to literary fiction, with particular emphasis on representing verisimilitude.

5) Ronald D Moore — creator of shows like the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Helix and For All Mankind. His skill at character development is unmatched in my opinion.

As a special mention; I’ve been working with Venusian Broon over the years and have yet to find a more gifted critter and beta-er.
 
I think it sort of presupposes that our counsellors would be people we admire as writers rather than somebody we could learn from effectively.

Now I very much took the latter train of thought too. Good counsellors and good authors aren't necessarily the same thing (although having read King's On Writing, I think he'd be pretty good at it).

However, where you and I have gone wrong is presupposing they must be people.

To wit, I present my updated list

1) Odin - Not only can Odin offer great advice as god of poetry, not only does he have a wealth of experience, but he can also offer an amazing reference library through asking questions to Huginn and Muninn.

2) Promethea - I am fairly sure a superhero-magician made up of a half-dozen creatives throughout history would have some really interesting insights and ideas

3) Lady Sybil Ramkin - Everyone needs a cheerleader and not only is Sybil that, she's also rather practical and has some useful knowledge.

4) Elric of Melnibone - Everyone needs a sourpuss, and someone who's seen and done a lot of crap too.

5) Ursula Le Guin - Will be on every list I put here. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
 
Now I very much took the latter train of thought too. Good counsellors and good authors aren't necessarily the same thing (although having read King's On Writing, I think he'd be pretty good at it).

However, where you and I have gone wrong is presupposing they must be people.

To wit, I present my updated list

1) Odin - Not only can Odin offer great advice as god of poetry, not only does he have a wealth of experience, but he can also offer an amazing reference library through asking questions to Huginn and Muninn.

2) Promethea - I am fairly sure a superhero-magician made up of a half-dozen creatives throughout history would have some really interesting insights and ideas

3) Lady Sybil Ramkin - Everyone needs a cheerleader and not only is Sybil that, she's also rather practical and has some useful knowledge.

4) Elric of Melnibone - Everyone needs a sourpuss, and someone who's seen and done a lot of crap too.

5) Ursula Le Guin - Will be on every list I put here. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
That’s totally cheating
 

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