Check out this interview with Frank Peretti. When someone’s sold 12 million books, it’s worth learning some lessons from their habits.
He sees movies as a great way to lean the craft of storytelling:
I don’t watch television. Barb and I disconnected the TV years ago. We watch a lot of movies, practically every night. I watch them to see how the story is handled. It’s like in music when you listen to others who play your instrument to learn how they play it. You learn by observing others.
And note the secular fiction he reads:
…Michael Crichton — I like the way he constructs his story, his cinematic style and his eye for detail. He’s easy and fun to read, he moves his stories along. He’s always in a techno-thriller thing and I like that kind of thing. Mostly, I just like the way he handles his craft. I also like John Grisham. He’s a pretty good writer. I read a little Dean Koontz every now and then. I read a little Stephen King because I keep being compared to him. I can’t see the comparison.