Monday, August 31, 2009

One Cantankerous Writer

Due to a contest I'm attempting to enter, I've been downloading and reading as much information as possible on screenplays and movie treatments and all sorts of related stuff. The deadline is fast approaching, and I'm still only at the notes-and-rough-outline stage.

I have no illusions. I love movies, but I'm a novelist, not a screenwriter. I have no idea whether or not what I'm conjuring is anything close to filmable. However, several years ago, when I read aloud a scene from a manuscript in progress, one of the writers in the group sneered and said, "Are you writing that for a movie?"

Anger was my first reaction, but then I considered the remark. Backhanded as it may have been, it revealed something useful: If the writing was vivid and active enough to inspire the notion of a movie scene, it must have been a success.

Last week, listening to a radio preacher -- yep! -- I heard something that immediately brought the above incident to mind: If a vehicle is going to move forward, it must have traction. In order for there to be traction, there must be resistance.

Some might call me stubborn, some might call me proud, but tell me I can't write a story a particular way, or include a certain character, or do anything else in fiction simply because whatever I want to do "just isn't done" or "just won't sell", and I'll do it anyway.

When an editor for a big publishing house dissed my manuscript, I returned home and finished it anyway. When other writers tore apart my short stories, I entered them anyway. And many of them won awards.

So sneer all you like, Writer (or Editor) Who Shall Not Be Named. Your contempt spurs me onward.


Phy said...

Spunky! Spirited! I like it!

Keanan Brand said...

Strong-willed, more likely. (laugh)