Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"I never did mind about the little things."

This story begins, as most well told stories must, in the middle.  Not the exact middle, most likely, but certainly not at the beginning - boring you with exposition sans context.  Or relevance.

Last night, at a few minutes after 6 pm, I successfully, and officially, lost my first screenwriting contest.  It's not like I expected to win... exactly.  But I will admit I was disappointed and very surprised at how hard it was to go back to writing this morning.  I was competing against authors from all over the world, with years of experience.  I'd only decided to write screenplays four months ago!  What hubris on my part.

Of course, without some hubris we "author types" wouldn't write.  I had a serious decision to make this morning and was surprised that this little contest, that I never had a chance to win, was able to focus me so directly.  Am I going to be serious about this writing thing?

Of course.  I have to.  There are stories I have to tell.  I've been spinning yarns since I was kid, being encouraged by family and teachers to keep writing.  I have sought writing opportunities in every job I've ever had - in some cases creating my own (and in one very EXTREME case getting in a LOT of trouble for it).

I reached The Point of No Return a long time ago.  I will keep writing.  I will keep studying.  I will probably enter another contest.  Maybe at some point I'll go back to novels and short stories - but I don't think so.  I love the movies, always have, and to paraphrase Hemingway, "There is no writing like the writing of movies and for those who have tried it, and liked it, there is nothing else."


  1. I like to write too, Jon. Thanks for your work so far.

    Here is a blog that you might like:
    She has a schedule in which on different days she deals with different subjects all having something to do with writing.

    Also, if you ever have a chance to read about writing, I would recommend a book I am currently reading, Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. It sounds rather textbookish, but really is quite readable with short chapters. Last night I read two chapters which deal with how we should think of our writing in the same terms as do movie makers. "Write from different cinematic angles" and "Report and write for scenes." These ideas gave me something to think about.

    1. Thanks for the leads. With the quantity of material out there, it's good to have a starting point.

      Thinking in terms of cinema changed writing for me completely. I have commented several times that I wished I'd discovered the screenplay format a decade ago. I struggled through short stories and false starts on novels but always got bogged down with the need to DESCRIBE everything in my head (and the head's of my characters) and it killed the pace of my action.