Warning... Do Not Read

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  • Warning... Do Not Read

    Unless you want to read the least definitive thread regarding screenwriting. I've found most of the following on the back of matchbook cover:

    The pacing thread got off topic and there have been great threads in this forum, as always, with the help of the pros. What I'm struck by in most of these threads is a disproportionate number of writers who are new to DD have HTOCD. How To Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Look it up on Wikipedia.net. The books say this. Save The Cat says this. Linda Seger says this. John Truby says this. Chinatown is a classic (it is) so that book is right. Read the book because you spent money on it and then PUT IT ON THE SHELF.

    GET THE BOOKS OUT OF YOUR HEAD. Except for Aristotle's Poetics. He's Greek and he wrote that so long ago he has to be right. Otherwise,.. STOP IT STOP IT. STOP IT.

    You've watched a thousand movies. You've read a hundred novels. You've read just as many screenplays.

    You have a logline.
    Write your outline.
    Write your script.

    Develop your natural instinct for storytelling if you want to be a storyteller and vice versa.

    The volume of how-to books and seminars out there devoted to screenwriting is staggering. Is there any other art form in existence that has engendered so much instruction, codified guidance and how-to publications?

    Storytelling is an art form. Screenwriting is an art form. The most memorable artists, authors developed their instincts. They had, have talent, but they had VISION.

    What good is instinct and vision when Hollywood is a business and not interested in art as much as it is interested in commercial material and within that, genre specific material. That is a mindf-ck of sorts for those who really really want to write. Don't let it screw with your mind. You read the books. You wanted to tell a story or stories. Maybe you'd be better off writing a novel, a novella or short story?

    No, you've decided to tell your stories on the biggest f-ing canvas in the universe. You want to write that killer spec that will get a Nicholl or a Blacklist nom or that huge tyro scribe sale that makes it on the front page of Variety. Wrong answer. But if that's what you came for, why the hell are you in this forum? Go to the Business forum. Do the research. Pick up every copy of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Write what's popular. Get the bestselling screenplay book and write accordingly.

    But you're in this forum looking for answers. Most of the time 99% of the time you have the answers. Have confidence in your desire to tell a story. After all, you're doing this because you want to, you need to, if you didn't there would be one big regret, maybe more nagging at you when you're lying there with the other hospice patients.

    You have the answers.

    Why did you want to tell your story?
    Why this story?
    Why these characters?
    Why this genre?

    You want to write screenplays.
    You have a genre.
    You have a logline.
    Write your outline.
    Write your script.

    Keep those books on the shelves. You've read them.

    Now it's all you. Your storytelling instincts. Your vision.

    Carry on.

    And all on the cover of matchbook.
    Last edited by Ire; 03-07-2012, 08:07 PM.
    #writinginaStarbucks #re-thinkingmyexistence #notanotherweaklogline #thinkingwhatwouldWilldo

  • #2
    Re: Warning... Do Not Read

    Yes. And relatively few of the authors have ever written a successful screenplay, it seems.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Warning... Do Not Read

      Wasn't there a loooong discussion about this recently? Can't remember the thread...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Warning... Do Not Read

        Originally posted by ATB View Post
        Wasn't there a loooong discussion about this recently? Can't remember the thread...
        Probably, but I think it bears repeating. I believe up and coming screenwriters are bombarded with and bombard themselves with so many theories, templates and "rules" and the cumulative effect is storytelling instincts are hung out to dry. There are "rules", guidelines, but if a writer, a writer with talent does not develop his or her own storytelling instincts I believe, (I believe) their talent will turn out scripts exactly like the rest of the scripts that sit in a pile on the floor in some assistant's cubicle. Of course there are other reasons for that script sitting in a pile. If you want your script to be one of those scripts sitting on the desk: great query, great logline, the writer knows someone who knows the assistant's agent. There are too many factors to list. For writing specs why not develop an au natural storytelling instinct? Why not do it? Agents, managers want you to have content. You pitch story ideas to a manager and maybe they'll expect you to have a first draft in 6-8 weeks. If you have story instincts plus Blake Snyder versus just Blake you have an edge in my opinion.

        I do believe for those who stay the course and who have talent, a storytelling instinct will develop out of sheer practice and habit. But I'd rather scream at writers earlier.

        I may have opened a can of worms, but I'm starting on a new script and have some time on my hands.
        #writinginaStarbucks #re-thinkingmyexistence #notanotherweaklogline #thinkingwhatwouldWilldo

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Warning... Do Not Read

          I agree. Here's the thread:

          Plot Point 2 Thread

          Told you it was long...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Warning... Do Not Read

            Just write the goddamned thing while the fire is hot. Worry about the so-called rules during the revision process. Anything else is procrastination.
            "Forget it, Jake. It's Hollywood."

            My YouTube channel.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Warning... Do Not Read

              Originally posted by ATB View Post
              I agree. Here's the thread:

              Plot Point 2 Thread


              Told you it was long...
              Holy crap.

              Well we'll have none of that here. I'll exercise a little known codicil in the DDP constitution that gives the OP. unlimited power in times of anarchic threads

              #writinginaStarbucks #re-thinkingmyexistence #notanotherweaklogline #thinkingwhatwouldWilldo

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                You can use that stuff as an excuse *not* to write... but then, what was the purpose? The whole deal is to write stuff, learn stuff, write better stuff, learn stuff, write even better stuff...

                How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

                Oh, and don't fear failure - you have to fail a lot to succeed.

                - Bill
                Free Script Tips:
                http://www.scriptsecrets.net

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                  On what page do I save the cat?
                  Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                    Page 7. . Exactly three-quarters down the page, no more, no less.
                    Last edited by Ire; 03-08-2012, 10:25 AM.
                    #writinginaStarbucks #re-thinkingmyexistence #notanotherweaklogline #thinkingwhatwouldWilldo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                      This stuff really can't be said often enough.

                      I have a friend who has spent literally thousands of dollars on classes and seminars and workshops and books and CDs and DVDs. He still hasn't finished a single complete script. In the meantime, I've finished three specs in the time he started doing this... and I'm *slow*.

                      I'm determined to help my friend finish his first spec this year if I have to friggin' flog it out of him with a scourge, and the first thing I'm going to do is get him to STOP with the instructional scheisse. You have to sit down and do the work. Jimi Hendrix didn't become Jimi Hendrix by going to seminars and reading books - he became Jimi Hendrix by locking himself in a room and playing until his fingers bled.

                      You learn by doing. There is no substitute.

                      Cheers,

                      B
                      SIX-GUN GORILLA: LONG DAYS OF VENGEANCE.
                      http://www.sixgungorilla.com/
                      https://www.facebook.com/SixGunGorilla
                      sigpic
                      "... (an) indie powerhouse of a book.- - AIN'T IT COOL NEWS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                        But wait OP,

                        In a recent thread, along the same lines as looking to (paid for) external sources, someone was adamant that it's a good thing - that they may help identify if someone has a killer script, or point them in the right direction if it isn't that good".

                        This person was so adamant, they just *have* to be right and everyone else must be wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                          As the OP of the recent pacing thread that went off track, I'm not sure if this is directed at me, but just for the record...

                          I've been trying my hand at screenwriting for almost three years now. I haven't read any screenwriting books, or taken any classes, but from web resources I'm familiar with the various approaches, philosophies and (supposed) rules out there. I supplement this with watching a bucketload of movies, and reading as many scripts as I can. I've been absorbing good, bad and ugly advice on forums, blogs, from interviews etc.

                          What happened was that I internalized so many screenwriting "tips" that it paralyzed my writing for a long time. Ie. I'd write an outline/scene/act and hit on all things that I thought were important, but then realize that [insert any "rule", piece of advice, pro suggestion, Snyder/Field-ism etc] was missing, scrap it and try again. Rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

                          One day (admittedly not too long ago), I got fed up and said FCUK IT, I'm doing it my way. Since then my writing has improved dramatically. I can see it on the page. In the process I also discovered the method of story development that works for me. I'm still aware of the "do's and don'ts" of screenwriting 101, but I'm not hung up on them anymore.

                          And another thing (while I'm sitting in an airport, ranting away)... don't assume we're all in the same screenwriting boat. Internet aside, I live in a screenwriting vacuum (ie. currently, a tiny island nation in the north Pacific; previously a slightly larger island-nation in the south Pacific) so there's noone to bounce ideas off or just ask questions. Places like DDP offer a connection to the screenwriting world that I can't get otherwise - whether it's the pro's commenting on three pages, or a question about pacing, it's all part of the process of becoming a better writer.

                          For me, screenwriting is a journey and I'm happy just to be moving forward.

                          [Sorry for the biblical length post]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                            Originally posted by Ire View Post
                            I'll exercise a little known codicil in the DDP constitution that gives the OP. unlimited power in times of anarchic threads.

                            A well deserved smile and thumbs up for Little Known Codicil. A great thread and delivered in style.

                            Thanks, Ire. I needed a smile today.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Warning... Do Not Read

                              Originally posted by Mr Scribble View Post
                              I internalized so many screenwriting "tips" that it paralyzed my writing for a long time.
                              ...
                              I got fed up and said FCUK IT, I'm doing it my way. Since then my writing has improved dramatically... In the process I also discovered the method of story development that works for me.
                              That's a really useful observation.

                              I think a lot of writers get so distracted by trying to work out what they should be writing at some particular point in the script that they almost remove themselves from the story they're trying to tell. Their mind is in the wrong place and they become -as you put it - paralyzed.

                              Really I think you learn about scriptwriting by watching movies, reading scripts and writing.
                              "Friends make the worst enemies." Frank Underwood

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