Tuesday 27 July 2010

Learning from Other Writers

A friend of mine has pointed me to a cracking website here chock full of mp3s containing lengthy interviews with serious Hollywood screenwriters - the sort of long drawn out chats that only people serious about screenwriting would be interested in. Fantastic. (especially when you get past the dire introductions).

Learning from other writers is really important, not so that you can emulate their work patterns or get depressed about how good at their job they are (or the opposite), but so that we can all be reassured that writing is a long, painful, wasteful process that we all thinking about giving up regularly. But then realise that we don't write because we can, or we should, but because we must. It's good to hear how entire storylines and scenes are dropped, endings changed and characters amplified or killed. Doing stuff like this is not failure but progress. And it takes such a long time to understand that a script is more like a owl of alphabet soup than a monolithic text chiselled in stone.

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