This Power of 3 malarkey, how to do it and what constitutes good feedback has got everyone talking, it seems. Since posting on Thursday I’ve had a deluge of emails and IMs and have noticed a variety of conversations on blogs, message boards and forums ranging from concurrence to the faintly bemused to the full-blown attack on amateurs and newbies.
The “newer” writer – as in, the writer who has written only a few scripts – will always get a bum deal it seems. Sometimes it would appear that the more experienced a writer becomes, the more they forget what it was like when they first started. It happens in all professions; it’s long been documented for example that junior doctors work 84 hour weeks, eventually become consultants and then forget they ever did those 84 hour weeks: what it felt like or how desperately tired they were and worried about making a mistake. Perhaps it’s human nature?
What I’ve always liked about writing and creativity though is it appears to be completely devoid of expectation on the basis of gender, race, religion or life experience. You literally can bring to it what you know – or not, as the case may be; that’s the power of research, especially in novels. The more experienced you actually become in the craft of writing, the more coherent your story becomes: the better your plotwork, character, dialogue, etc is. Your first script will never be your best, just as no first draft is ever the best realisation of your story on paper, no matter how experienced a writer you actually are.
But here’s an interesting question for you:
I am 27. Is it not possible for me to be as good a writer as someone who is 47? After all, they have lived more – twenty whole years. You can get a lot done in that time; raise a child from 0 to adulthood; travel the world, establish a career, or all three and more. We hear a lot about my generation – fewer of us are having kids, getting married or even co-habiting. I heard a survey on the radio recently where 58% of 30 year olds said they do not consider themselves old enough to have a child or get married and they spend between £70-80 a month on crap off eBay as standard. Most are not yet in the job they “really want”, yet most don’t even know what job that actually is. Welcome to the MTV generation, where we may travel more by air than twenty years ago, but nearly always to the same place apparently.
Is this what writing is all about, life experience? And those younger cannot possibly measure up?
But what about this: is the writer who starts in their 20s a better or worse writer than somehow one that starts in their forties? Or does the latter have that life experience to “fal1 back on”?
Or is this all more a case of those older always say the next generation coming up is somehow worse or more inadequate than theirs (and we have it all to come)?
Over to you…