Tuesday, November 10, 2015


There is a debilitating attitude, mostly unconscious, that operates in the psyches of many would-be screenwriters, that works to stifle or otherwise undermine the quality and vividness of the emotional energy and potential buried within the lives of the characters whose story is being told. Frequently dismissed as laziness, the undermining attitude is predicated on two, complementary sets of feelings concerning what is being written. On the one hand, there is “the careful fear”, which manifests as a conserving anxiety, the fundamental purpose of which is to protect the writer from unnecessary, personal exposure by maintaining and preserving a suitable emotional distance from the characters and the story’s subject. On the other hand, there is the writer’s blind and stubborn loyalty to a host of powerful albeit irrelevant assumptions, prejudices, and habits of thought (beliefs) concerning what one is doing, including one’s perceptions concerning the significance of what is being presented. Mostly, writers work within the boundaries created by these two inclinations, tirelessly striving to get the balance right. Alas, it is mostly a waste of time. One’s proclivity to “be safe” whilst maintaining a steadfast devotion to one’s belief in oneself, render the possibility of balance nearly impossible. The writer and the story would be much better served if they simply forgot about being safe and gave up every ambition for writing the greatest story never told.

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