My thanks to everyone that posted their encouragement to last Friday’s announcement regarding the upcoming March break. I think that the story, and my mental health, will be better for it.
Over the weekend I took my first crack at tackling the problems in the script and discovered they were even more extensive than just the empty suit character I’d spotted. They do all revolve around this empty suit character, but they were actually larger than just the lack of personality and history in this character. Almost like the blank space warped the script around it, as too much exposition and unnecessary material manifested around the empty spots to try and compensate. Cory went through it with me with a machete, and boy did it sting, but I think once I figure out how to get the essential pieces, and only the essential pieces, smoothed together, the story will be so much stronger.
I’m learning that anything that feels clever is probably the most suspect. If the only reason something is present is because, “it’s cute,” or, “that bit of dialog was slick, wasn’t it?” then it’s probably in actuality garbage. Mostly because it serves no purpose beyond its own sake, and often must necessitate forced actions or situations to frame it. One “clever” line can create pages of set-up to shoe-horn it in, and even then it often is still out of place. Of course, since these kinds of lines make me feel smugly smart to write, they’re often some of the hardest to let go.
Good writing is not meant to serve the ego. If anything, the best writing exists to break it down.
And even on the most superficial level, it’s no fun to admit that maybe, just maybe, I’m not as clever as I’d like to think I am. Although, I suppose very few people are. Except for maybe Mark Twain. Or Oscar Wilde. They always seemed to have incisive things to say that seemed exactly as clever as they thought they were.
So I guess it’s okay to admit that I ain’t no Oscar Wilde. I think I can live with that. 🙂
Who is your favorite too-clever-for-their-own-good person from history? What’s your favorite snappy quote?