Posts tagged ‘patience’

December 4, 2012

Quote of the Day: William Faulkner

At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, training himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance–that is to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is to be–curiosity–to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does, and if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got it or not.

August 22, 2011

Because Robert McKee Said So: Notes from the Master

I recently participated in a free teleconference put on by the ISA with the legend himself, Robert McKee. Robert had a proliferation of valuable advice to dispense over the hour-long Q&A session, and I did my best to take notes on what I found to be his most interesting points. Here are some highlights:

  • Robert was repeatedly annoyed by questions about the “biggest” mistakes or the “best” way to do something because he doesn’t believe in pre-packaged writing tools. (However, he did indulge the group with some examples of “big” mistakes, “better” ways, etc.)
  • One major mistake that beginning writers tend to make is being impatient. Don’t put an explosion on the first page and then go back and explain what happened in subsequent pages. It’s sloppy storytelling and experienced readers won’t be impressed. Take the time to establish your characters and your world in a beautiful way.
  • On the topic of mixing genres, Robert said that mixing genres can help dimensionalize characters – if all they do is fall in love, they’re not going to be an interesting character. We also mix genres to try to create a film that hasn’t been seen before. Everything has been done – no one is going to invent an entirely new genre. Robert thinks that innovative films of the future will come from writers merging genres.
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April 26, 2011

Shut Up and Write

This great article by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman talks about her personal experience with balancing having the necessary patience to carefully peice together your story and the productivity to start writing the damn thing already. It’s a tricky balance even for experienced writers, as Jeanne shows us:

Last week, I declared patience is paramount when it comes to both getting a project produced and learning your writing partner’s habits. But patience can also be the killer of a project – a slow infectious cancer that will suck the energy out of your work and your soul.

Sometimes you have to put up or shut up.

After a year of outlining our adaptation of Slavery by Another Name, we were dancing dangerously on the talk-is-cheap line. People kept saying, “So, how’s that adaptation coming?” Gulp.

In writing, and in life, you have to carefully walk a line between patience and productivity. My writing partner, Douglas A. Blackmon, and I were struggling getting this script written. We lived in different states yet functioned best in person. This was quite a dilemma.

I took a good hard look at what drove both of us. Then it hit me. Doug is a newspaper guy – he needed a deadline. I’m a competitive freak – I needed a contest.

Bingo! Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

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