Thank You Note to a Reader
by Michelle Bornstein
Dear Reader who just tore the 17th draft of my script to shreds,
Thank you for sucking the life out of me. If good screenwriting is akin to slitting your wrists and spilling your blood on the page then you, kind sir, have just squeezed all that blood out, let it fully dry, and crucified me. Did you enjoy it, hmmm? Much like you enjoyed that little candy bar you neglected to count the weight watchers points for? Amateur move, my friend. Amateur.
Do you think it’s easy to write, hmm? Do you think that witty dialogue you just read wrote itself? Do you know how many forensic scientists must be interviewed in order for one to come up with an original and funny way to kill off a character? Here’s a hint: death by spanking has been done before. So we researched the science, we read all the Darwin awards, studied “Dr. G., medicine woman" for months, and finally, finally, finally came up with a funny and original way to die, and you just snickered! Do you know how hard it is to make someone like you laugh? Yet you just laughed for the first time since Bill Clinton almost got impeached.
Perhaps it’s been so long since you’ve laughed you mistook it for gas. Perhaps you are so jaded you simply toss about words like “amateur” and “hack” for sport. Perhaps you’ve read so many scripts that the words all blur together and you can’t tell what’s what anymore. Perhaps you think this is justification for the “constructive notes” you provided, all of which come together to provide the all-too-clear subtext of the situation: “You suck. You can’t write. You’ll never make it in this business. You’ve just been exposed.”
Then again, perhaps you wouldn’t know a good script if it hit you in the face. Perhaps our friends are better judges of talent than you, hmm? What say you?
Listen, just because you couldn’t hack it in the screenwriting biz doesn’t mean you have to ruin it for the rest of us. Yes, we know you placed in all those competitions way back. Yes, legend has it you wrote one screenplay a month for a whole year. Yes, we know you’ve taught several classes on the subject. Maybe even written a book or two, one of which we may or may not have read cover-to-cover seven and half times. And so what if your website is filled with testimonials citing you as some “expert”? When’s the last time you actually had a movie produced, huh? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
So you enjoy your time in the ivory tower there, flipping through Craigslist ads responding to those $10 an hour scriptreader job openings, self-medicating with junk food, and taking out your frustrations of a failed life on other aspiring writers who have more talent in their little finger than you’ve ever had. You ENJOY THAT, Mister!
Oh, wait: You liked it?
I see. Did I mention “narrow-minded nitwit” is a compliment of the highest regard where I come from? Yes, well, carry on, then.
Check out Michelle’s website at: www.bornsteinwriter.com
Bret Easton Ellis may write “Fifty Shades of Grey” screenplay: Wants Ryan Gosling as Christian, Kristen Stewart as Ana
#screenwriting #fiction #writer
“Some juicy bits from our sleuths over atGatecrasher, who report on E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the so-called book that has whipped the reading public into submission.
First, we may have both a director and screenwriter for the film version, to which Focus Features bought the rights earlier this year. Gatecrasher reports that “Angelina Jolie has reportedly expressed a desire to direct, while ‘American Psycho' author Bret Easton Ellis began lobbying to write the screenplay via a series of tweets on Saturday.”
Those tweets include Ellis calling protagonist Christian Grey “a writer’s dream” and assuring James, “I’m [not] being a prankster.” Later, a representative for Ellis confirmed that the novelist, whose works more artfully mine much of the same sexual terrain James revels in, is “really determined and excited about the prospect of making this happen.” (Above: NYDN file photo)
In fact, Ellis was so excited that he started tweeting his casting ideas: Ryan Gosling, Alexander Skarsgard or Alex Pettyfer as Christian Grey and either Scarlett Johansson or Kristen Stewart as Ana Steele. These tweets were later deleted, with Gatecrasher suggesting this was done not to anger James, who reportedly wants “input in everything” when it comes to making a movie from her book.
And in other “Fifty Shades” news, Gatecrasher reports James “is considering rewriting the best-selling trilogy…from the perspective of the novels’ riding-crop-wielding billionaire, Christian Grey.”
The original books are told from Ana’s perspective. Don’t try to pretend you don’t know that.”
#screenwriting #writer #fiction
"Every teenage boy’s wildest fantasy becomes his worst nightmare in this provocative erotic thriller debut novel from one of Hollywood’s masters of suspense. SST Publications announced today the worldwide publication in trade hardcover, trade paperback and eBook of famed motion picture screenwriter and director Eric Red’s first novel, the dark coming-of-age story about teenagers, Don’t Stand So Close. The official release date is July 1st 2012.
Publisher Paul Fry says: “From the very first time I read Don’t Stand So Close I was hooked. It’s excellently written, erotic, exciting and compelling. The book draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the very end. Eric Red’s writing is very descriptive and atmospheric, and once the book has you in its grip, it’s very hard to let go.”
Plot Summary: When handsome 17-year-old Matt Poe moves to a rural town in Iowa, he is the new kid in school. An outsider who can’t fit in, his only friend is his beautiful and sympathetic teacher, Linda Hayden. The older woman is the first to take an interest in him, helping him adjust to the community and keep his grades up. Matt can’t help falling hard for Linda and what begins with a kiss becomes a torrid, secret affair. But his teacher is a lot more than he bargained for and the kid’s wildest dream becomes his worst nightmare. The only people who can save Matt are his two classmates, Grace McCormack and Rusty Shaw. But the three of them are in way over their heads against an evil adult trying to make sure they stay after class permanently.
About The Author: Eric Red is a Los Angeles based motion picture screenwriter and director whose films include The Hitcher, Near Dark, Cohen and Tate, Body Parts, Bad Moon and 100 Feet. He has had short fiction published in Weird Tales, Shroud, and Dark Delicacies III: Haunted. He was also the creator & writer of the graphic novel Containment for IDW Publishing. Don’t Stand So Close is his first novel.”
#screenwriting #writer #screenplay
"……..while watching TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, I realized how similar writing is to martial arts.
Persistence, determination and belief in oneself are needed to finish any script or novel. Coincidentally, those qualities are also found in a martial artist.
Let’s compare the journeys:
MA: We train by repeating blocks, kicks and punches over and over until sweat drips from our bodies.
Writer: The first draft is never good enough, so we write it over and over, until our brain and fingers throb.
2. Fighting under pressure:
MA: Once you’ve trained hard enough, the moves become “muscle memory”. When under the pressure of fighting, we need our moves to occur without thought.
Writer: When you’re under a deadline, you need your words to flow effortlessly. That won’t happen if you spend your days procrastinating and not putting words down on paper (side note: the program Write or Die is fantastic at honing your writing-under-pressure skills).
3. Being tested by your Master:
MA: The test day for your next belt arrives. If you’ve practiced, your Master will know it and reward you. But if you haven’t, he can see it with one look into your eyes. There’s no way to fake being ready.
Writer: Every time you send out your work, you’re being tested. Are you prepared? Did you do as many drafts necessary to make it your best? Will your work be viewed as amateur or professional? Do you have the stamina to wait for, and then deal with, the feedback? It’s a test. It’s always a test.
4. Number one rule of fighting is to avoid a fight at all cost:
MA: Never, ever fight if you don’t have to. Only fight if it’s…..”