How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

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  • How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?


  • #2
    ?

    You don't know how many times a studio executive has to said to me, "If only I can find the one script that unconsciously derives from the works of Toni Morrison, Jean Paul Sartre, Gore Vidal and Maya Angelou!"

    **edited because first post was edited**

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    • #3
      Re: How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

      In The Margins

      I meant Thomas Hardy and edited my post to show what I meant. Thanks for correcting me.

      But you totally missed the point on the other issue.

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      • #4
        Re: How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

        Many beginning writers base their stories on other movies they've seen, which is why so many of them sound the same.

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        • #5
          Re: How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

          Seems like there's 3 types.

          LIFE EXPERIENCE
          INTERNAL ORIGINAL CREATIVITY
          LEARNED FROM PRIOR WORKS

          I'm sure there's a more formal way of dealing with this. Some brilliant mind of the past probably has a better way of categorizing these things.

          What combination am I? Neither. I just rip everyone else off, blatantly. And if they catch on to me, I threaten their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

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          • #6
            Re: How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

            Guess I'm a little confused with the question. Are you saying it's either experience or t.v. ? What ever happened to imagination? I think combining everything around you is also key, both relationships, and experiences make great writing.

            I don't know, just seems like maybe you've cornered yourself here, could be wrong. Does there have to be a definitive answer to something that's so organic? Strange question for me I guess.

            latest project

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            • #7
              Re: How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

              Carson

              You're right, I forgot to add perhaps the most important type, the one "I framed OJ" mentioned in his list: INTERNAL ORIGINAL CREATIVITY. It's now there in my latest edit...in my own words.

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              • #8
                Re: How much of you penetrate your stories - rien? mucho?

                Original creativity could theoretically spring from the mind of one living in a vacuum, but since no one lives entirely in a vacuum, that theory could never be tested. I'm all in favor of whatever means by which a terrific work (screenplay, novel, teleplay, play) comes about. But I suspect a most common and fruitful recipe is for the creative mind to be subjected to assorted stimuli (to me, preferably of the human variety). And direct experience with the world is one degree less removed from that world than is watching it on TV or in movies or reading it in books. But no doubt they all can serve to inspire.

                The advantage offered by film, TV, and books is that the material "experienced" is of the dramatic variety, and thus distilled and condensed into a form that permits the apprehension of a vast range of emotions, thoughts, experiences in a relatively short span of time. The downside is that to be too directly influenced by it may lead to your creation of material that is too highly derivative and not sufficiently original. These are all just generalities, of course, but some things to consider.

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                • #9
                  It's all me!

                  Well, every script I write is about me and my emotional issues... but they are also big adentures, thrillers, action, sci-fi, horror, and one high concept family comedy.

                  I don't swipe stuff from books or TV or movies (at least, not intentionally, but input=output).

                  I think you really left off creativity - you know, that imagination thing. That's the most important part of creative writing (but the part I frequently find missing from many new writers). You strart with your raw material (yourself) and then add creativity to make the story big enough to fill the screen.

                  - Bill

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                  • #10
                    Re: It's all Bill!

                    I find many writers confuse imagination and creativity with randomness. Sometimes a script reads like a Madlib. That's what I love about zoetrope. (oh, Sophia, one day you'll be mine...)

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                    • #11
                      Re: It's all Bill!

                      If *your scripts* are all about me, you may have a problem... and I probably need to call the stalking division of LAPD.

                      Though this might also be a good idea for a Charlie Kauffman script (though not about me, it'd probably be better if it were about Christopher Walken or someone).

                      - Bill

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                      • #12
                        Re: It's all Bill!

                        Note to self: Kaufmanesque story about two guys living together. One wants to be a screenwriter. He struggles writing during the day. He can't do it. He drinks, passes out. When he wakes up in the morning, there are half a dozen good pages in his typewriter. He sells the script, makes a million. Twist: it is his room-mate, the bowling alley attendant who is doing this in his sleep. Ron Livingston and Chris Walken to star.

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                        • #13
                          Re: It's all Bill!

                          be nice if the writer set out to kill his roommate to keep the secret from getting out.

                          Now, I'd watch that.


                          but yeah, my stories have a lot of me in them. They have my friends in them, the things that we're afraid of, the personal joys, and all that sort of thing.

                          My last short story was about a good friend of mine, his stripper girlfriend and their guilt ridden relationship.

                          I haven't shown it to them yet, because it'll hurt thier feelings but it's a good story.

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                          • #14
                            I'm always in there somewhere, or people I know and people I see. My goal is to keep people guessing: How much is made up and how much is me. One reason I write is because I have something to say, so I have to be in there somewhere. I get a lot of inspiration from talking to people and watching them. I'm developing this theory: All of the great writing I have loved was born from the writer's ability to really see the world. Maybe the writing isn't a mirror or a transcription, but there's always a kernel of insight. Therefore, unless I interact with the world and understand it, I will never be as great a writer as I could be.

                            With some things, I can't use experience. I've never encountered a dragon or a space station, for example. It helps to see what others have done. I also watch television and films because I want to understand how best to communicate. Children learn to talk by imitation, then they know how to express their own ideas. Why is this character sympathetic and that one not? How does the medium represent love without using "I love you?" How can I squeeze years worth of emotions and events into two hours? Why is this film or show so successful, and what can I learn from it? Once I know what's been done, how can I add to the overall artistic contribution to society? What do I have to add that is uniquely from me?

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