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E.C. Henry

Billy, I noticed in the last typwriter picture in this post the keys were all pulled out. Is that from someone who disregaurded Mr. V's 8 golden rules?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Mernitman - I'm printing this one out for my class.

Scott the Reader

Great stuff. Though "What's The Worst That Can Happen?" is actually named after the perfectly-good novel by Donald E. Westlake that the bad movie is based on, so don't credit Hollywood for the title. Though that's actually the only part of Westlake's book they got right.


Be prepared. #8 will get you accused of being predictable.


Re #7: Vonnegut's suggestion reminds me of a passage in a novel by the great Scottish writer Muriel Spark ("The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"), who passed last month. I love all her books but especially her two most autobiographical works, "Loitering with Intent" and "A Far Cry from Kensington." Mrs. Hawkins in the latter book is a kind of editor-at-large in 1950s London, and she offers this gem to would-be writers: "You are writing a letter to a friend . . . . And this is a dear and close friend, real - or better - invented in your mind like a fixation. Write privately, not publicly; without fear or timidity, right to the end of the letter, as if it were never going to be published, so that your true friend will read it over and over, and then want more enchanting letters from you. . . . You are only confiding an experience that you think only he will enjoy reading. What you have to say will come out more spontaneously and honestly than if you are thinking of numerous readers. . . . Remember not to think of the reading public, it will put you off."

Wise advice, and a great help in loosening up when your imagination is burdened with expectations for your script or you're confused by too much input from others.

Helen Fielding has said in interviews that she took this advice to heart in writing "Bridget Jones's Diary."


excellent and very timely that I read this today. thanks.


EC, I'm sure Kurt would be appalled at the notion of anyone having his or her keys pulled out at his expense! No, those keys belonged to the 17 computer keyboards of the writers who tag-wrote the movie version of "The Flintstones."

Barbara: Pass 'em on, pass 'em on...

Scott: I knew that!!! (You're right, Donald gets the credit and certainly not the blame.)

MaryAn, as my grandfather was apt to say, "We should all have such problems."

Dottie, thank-you for the Muriel.
That's great stuff.

Welcome, Deezee: We aim to please.

Diana Celesky

Great post! Thanks for sharing these bits of wisdom.


A post for printing out and pinning to my noticeboard, I think - thanks, Billy! I think I worry too much about what "they" will think, and if I can get away from that, the writing works much better. I wrote a v short play about a subject which is pretty dark, but made me laugh, and before I sent it off I had a moment of doubt - "they won't like this - no-one will get it" - sent it off anyway, and it got selected, and will be performed this Friday.


Welcome Diana You're Welcome!

Sal: Well, there you are and there you have it. And congrats!

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