Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wonderful Times

How great is it to be a screenwriter these days? Heck, any writer! Boy. The material. You just can't beat the possibilities for getting new material now. At no time in the past has news and information been more available to assault your every sense.

On the downside, I saw part of a show (before the power went out) where it's almost like Candid Camera. Thing is, it's not jokes we're playing on each other - it's a study of human behavior. "What Would You Do?" They comment on the popular teenage past time of "bum bashing" where bored teenagers will randomly wander the streets in a gang, find a bum and then proceed to beat the hell out of them. I know. WTF? That was my thought too. Saw it on a CSI episode and thought, man, that's pretty creative. Should've known it was ripped from the headlines. You can take any material like this and create a compelling character. I'm here to tell you, your character is a bum, a basher or somebody who stops the basher, you have an instant POV and an instant reaction from your audience.

On the positive side, I ran across an artist's website (Anna Nalick). She's not the first artist to blog or reveal information about themselves - just the first I've read. Anyhoo... she goes on to reveal some personal moments about her life, what's going on and to share what she's doing regarding her music. How fantastic - and how dangerous these days. On one hand, they are enabling fans to get closer than ever - to communicate directly with them. All the old farts can think back to their favorite artists and remember how much communication they had with them... yeah. An album (that's an old timey vinyl "cd" for you young 'uns). It's allowing fans to share how much the art means to the them with the artist. And this is from all over the world!

Boy, how exciting. I say dangerous just because of the possibility of exploiting the information or the relationship, but here's hoping that's not happening.

From a writer's perspective, you can now get some personal information about artists in different Arts. See how they live and be able to form characters better. Be able to set stories in those environments better. For writers of different ages than the artists, you can get a unique insight into the older or younger personalities. When I read some of these young artist blogs, I can't help but see just how optimistic their perspectives are. When I think back a few years, I can remember hearing that Hollywood is a "young" town. They don't want older writers. Well, I know there are plenty of "older" writers out there, but I believe that this possibly came from the thought that older writers are out of touch with what young folks want to see at the movies. To some degree, it may be true.

While I remember Porky's fondly, it's not the type of film that I would find easy to write -- or more accurately, even want to write. At my age (not too old, but too old for the likes of Anna Nalick) I've got more issues that getting laid, getting drunk or will I graduate high school. As we all get older, we have to deal with new things in our lives. It might be something like - the first quarter - getting a good education and getting a good job. Second quarter - finding a spouse and getting married. Third quarter - raising children and *keeping* your job from being outsourced or given to people in their 1st quarter. And lastly, 4th quarter - trying to keep upright.

Those new concerns make for completely different stories, so if you're in one quarter, but your characters are in another quarter, perhaps you can help yourself by taking a peek at the internet and blogs of folks in other corners of their lives. It's so easy to share, and frankly, so many people are willing to share - hell, *wanting desperately* to share - to feel a part of something and connect with somebody, that it's well worth the time to invest in a little browsing on the internet.

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