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E.C. Henry

Billy,

Writing is a great outlet to express your inner feelings, but I respectfully have to disagree if you think that naturally translates into INTERESTING writing. I, for one, don't like to listen to people rant and rave about things. When people do that, I turn them off, and I suppose most others do the same. Rather, I'm more interesting in hearing what a person's resolution is to maters of personal loss, and what their proposed solutions are to societies ills AFTER comptemplative thought.

My point: raw emotion needs to be considered and annalyzed BEFORE it is exposed to public in forms of entertainment.

Still, I can tell by your post that you're a compassionate man at heart, Billy. You empathize well with ailing people.

Great thought provoking post. My thoughts and prayers are with Trish. Hopefully, in the near futher you'll be able to re-blog with tales of how Trish's life has improved.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Christian Howell

Excellent post Billy. I too feel that I am not worried about making anyone happy except me and my hero.

I mean you can't please everyone and at the end of the day, if you hate going to see your movie because it was something you wrote for the money, then you did the wrong thing.

I had a choice a few months ago between a commercial comedy and commercial action film and I decided to write a heartfelt story about women who want to maintain their virginity through college.

It has some commercial value in that it does show all sides of the story of college (Ecstasy, alternate lifestyles, casual sex, etc) and is a positive example of women.

Boy I must be crazy. There's not even any nudity or smoking (visible - nothing wrong with showing the pack) BUT just when I finished it Disney dropped their "no smoking bomb," so I guess in retrospect staying true to your self can have positive results.

Now all I have to do is get them to read it. THE REAL HARD PART.


Another good thing is that Disney just scored big with "High School Musical 2" which may even be more nerdy.

At least my girls can give you an erection by dancing with you.

Just kidding. I need to choreograph it myself. Just please don't get an erection.

Kidding again.

Anyway,
Keep Writing as Writing is the Revealing of the Soul.

Just Another Hollywood Guy

Here's the thing about being a writer, you may be the best writer since the beginning of time, have a ton of credits--movies, books, magazine articles, whatever--you might even have the next greatest story ever told, but unless you're ready to write it it ain't gonna happen...

Yes, sitting there and putting in the seat time at your computer or whatever you use to write on, grind it out works, but it still won't get done unless you really WANT to write the story...

Maybe "Sally" isn't at that point yet.

Christina

That's a great post! Comes at a perfect time, just after I've re-dedicated myself to writing and finishing some unfinished projects. I'm putting a skull on my desk ASAP.

mernitman

EC, I never said or implied that expressing one's inner feelings "naturally translates into interesting writing." Craft and skill is another issue (you'll note that when I discovered Sally was already a good writer, that issue became instantly moot).

I'm specifically addressing a different problem: that many writers fear facing and expressing their (conflict-raising) emotions, and end up too inhibited to write what they really could/should write. And I'm acknowledging a common truism -- that writing which comes from a truthfully emotional place is more likely to strike a responsive chord in people. Obviously, if it's well-written, it's more likely to be read.

Christian: I guess an erect cigarette would totally make the tops of their heads blow off...

Welcome Just Another: Well, of course, you may be absolutely right, and I quite agree that you're often not ready until you're Ready.

In this particular case, Sally was stressing the "I feel like I'm ready but I'm scared" POV, so that's where we went with it. I coulda said, "Hey, maybe you're just not really ready," and she'd prob'ly have been relieved (i.e. not to have to talk about it anymore) and we might have discussed the Galaxies instead. But then, what would I have had to blog about?

Christina, where does one find a good skull these days? Is there a convenient franchise, like Yorrick's Bones Emporium? Living RomCom wants to know.

Christina

Lol, there are some weird ass stores in my neighborhood that sell ethnic/tribal-type knick knacks. I bet I can find a suitable skull in like... 25 minutes. I'll go on a hunt and let you know.

Rachel Hauck

Katrina exposed "compassionate conservatism?"

Really? And what conservatives were running Lousianna or New Orleans?

Wasn't it liberal Democrats. For the last 30 years? ;)

Hmmm..

Otherwise, very nice post. Got me to thinking...

Rachel

mernitman

Cool, Christina -- let me know.

Rachel: Clearly we should just agree to disagree on our respective POVs, and we shouldn't need to rehash all this here, but since you've raised the issue...

I don't believe there's any great dispute that FEMA fell down on the job big-time when Katrina hit, or that the symbolic image of George W. playing guitar while the city drowned resonated strongly with America. Is history really going to blame the "liberal Democrat" governor and mayor -- who simply did not have the resources to deal with the magnitude of such a disaster and rightly expected help from the Federal government -- for the tragedy of Katrina? I don't think so.

But for a far more informed take on this Katrina issue, here's a link more eloquent than I can be:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com:80/opinion/239935_means07.html

At any rate, thanks for your compliment on the post!

Just Another Hollywood Guy

So, you didn't say, has "Sally" actually started writing again or not?

Judith Duncan

A very relevant post,thankyou.At the beginning of the year I was standing in the line at welfare,thinking,"I have too much stuff to fit into a carboard box,I can't live on the streets."

By June I had bottomed out and my lifeline was to reach for a dream.I applied to the Professional Screenwriting Program at UCLA and got in.I've had an idea for a film for a while,but just couldn't write it.It's a romantic comedy about a woman who becomes a werewolf.I know I have to write a film about a woman who fights back,albeit in a funny,romantic kinda way.

Why do we need these horrible times to force us into what we need to do?What would Adam and Eve had done if they'd stayed in paradise?
Adam,"Nice day."
Eve,"Yeah,perfect."
I think Eve knew exactly what she was doing when she took that first bite.Things needed to change.Come hell or high water. As human beings for some reason that's what we need to spur us on.

Two years ago I did a workshop with John Truby,at the end of the workshop he said.
"Write a film that will change your life,that way even if you don't sell it,at least it will change your life."

That's what I'm going to do.

Thanks again.
Cheers,
Judith

Barbara

Great post, Mernitman.
Reminded me of a quote from Annie Dillard that one of my readers, Elle, just posted as a comment:
"Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is after all the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?”
- Annie Dillard

scarlet hip

When I was backpacking, everytime something truly horrendous happened to us, we would issue the same mantra, "This is going to make a great story someday." It's the tough bits that make for entertainment. I only wish that I had written about my adventures while they were still fresh in my mind.

markensparklefarkle

billy, you are on a roll.
must be left over bergman vibrations.

but dude... you got to start going to dinner parties... with upbeat, optimistic people... you could come over to my place, to talk about cancer as a motivation... yikes..
hey its summer time.. get out that buggy board that you got for your bar mitzvah and head to zuma...

seriously, as Winston Churchill,
said, bigtime paraphrase,
"being told that one is going to be hung in the morning, tends to focus the mind" does this mean that we all need such a kick in the ass? guess the answer is yes...

big yellow taxi.... "dont know what you got till its gone" its called your life..thats what is going to be gone...and sooner than we freakin think...

why why why.. do you we make such bad deals...with ourselves... for what... better cell phone coverage?

i hope that there is another road to the state of awareness and motivation to write the "right stuff" other than to be given the bad news from the oncologist.

regarding mento mori.. i used to keep a small doll of morey amsterdam on my desk... it worked for a while.

markensparklefarkle

part ii,

and... it was anthony burgess, who after being diagnosed with supposed, terminal cancer.. (in those days.. just about any cancer), set about to write COMMERCIAL writing.. of A Clockwork Orange.. so that his widow to be would have some revenue after his death...

he stopped writing obscure stuff and decided it was the write/right time to cash in...

so he got it backwards or did he?

mernitman

Hey Just Another: Well, it's too soon to say -- this was just days ago and I don't know Sally well enough to call and inquire. But I'll let you know when I know.

Judith: What a wonderful comment. Thank you for the Adam and Eve moment (so true!) and everything else you shared. I really want to see a werewolf romantic comedy movie.

Barbara: Ah, that Annie! Would that I weren't so enraged by triviality on a daily basis ("What are you doing?" Tater asks me. "I'm being enraged at triviality," I say.)

Scarlet Hip: It's never too late.

Marken: In an alternate universe (where I'm not a Hebrew school dropout) I did get a buggy board for my Bar Mitzvah, and I'm in Zuma as I type this, straddling the board, laptop w/fresh battery pack in my wet suit lap. There are dolphins laughing at me...

That's SO WILD about Burgess and that book. That was his idea of "commercial!" The mind reels...

sal

Great post, Billy, I shall be looking for a skull on my travels.
For me, redundancy gave me the moment to think "do I really want to be carrying on in this direction anyway?" That and some serious illness in my family which led to my Mum saying "Don't wait til next year, because you never know if you're going to get a next year". So I decided to make a go of being a writer - the critiques I get say my characters are too polite, though, so maybe I haven't let rip with all those raw emotions yet. Get up, inner bitch, and do your stuff!

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