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