W. Kandinsky: "There are no 'musts' in art." T.S. Eliot: "There is no freedom in art." Dostoievski character, after the ancient Middle East epigram: "Everything is permitted." (R-rated weblog. Since one has been advised there is no Literature anymore, or even literature, only writing, one proceeds on the premise that this weblog qualifies as not-meaningless, since it is, or appears to be, a form of "writing." Image: Banksy.)
Friday, February 8, 2008
Writing Without the Aid of Ideas
This screenplay is killing me, night after night I sit down with no ideas of any kind and somehow a scene gets written, then another, then another, and all the while I'm having this intense feeling that the material I'm producing is worthless, a long string of worthless scenes, like a crummy action movie that is just a sequence of action scenes strung together any old way, only my string comprises worthless scenes rather than action scenes.
Posted by Richard McNally at 11:36 PM
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SO what you're saying is even a crummy action movie causes intense pain for the person writing it. That is what I have always believed - even if something sucks, it doesn't make it any easier to do. As a matter of fact, it's HARDER to do something that sucks. Give yourself some credit, Rick. You choose the hard stuff, writing. Particularly with screenplays, you don't get to be judge and jury, you get to be writer. Other people get to evaluate it on screen. And if your work truly sucks, THEN you'll know it. Right now, you don't know it. You just feel it. Feelings aren't facts. Get back to work.
Keep writing. Don't quit writing, quit projecting. As they say, you can plan the plan, you can't plan the outcome. Back to work, brother.
I think a most interesting screenplay would be about the life of Rick McNally - a son, brother, father, husband, friend - who looked squarely down a windy, twisty, pot-holed, debris-strewn track, gunned the engine and made a run for it anyway. Your car has had its tires flattened, you didn't quit. It had it's engine reconfigured, you didn't quit. It had it's roof blown off, you didn't quit. When it ran out of gas, you got out and pushed.
You have lived a hero's life, and you don't even know it. You have inspired me to be all I can be simply by being all that you are.
In my personal cinema, I routinely grab a bag of popcorn, a large diet coke, and play your movie over and over. It's one of my all time favorites.
The diet coke gave you away, mysterious commentator, not to mention the quality of the prose.
Pedal to the metal, maam.
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