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Frauds & Parasites! (Or Why There’s ALWAYS More Than One Way Of Looking At This Scriptwriting Lark)

WRITER 1: There’s this person, right. S/he’s written a book/a blog and/or designed a course/put on a conference and reckons it’ll help writers understand writing. WHAT A FRAUD.

WRITER 2: (quietly) Actually I read it/did it and found it quite helpful.

WRITER 1: Yeah, well, I don’t so I’m gonna tell you: YOU’RE AN IDIOT.

WRITER 2: Well, that’s not very nice.

WRITER 1: Sorry, you’re forcing my hand. If you believe in all these formulas and whatnot for success, you’re an arse.

WRITER 2: Except, I never actually said that did I? I said I thought the book/course was quite helpful. I didn’t say I believed it 100%. William Goldman said no one knows anything and I get that. But I also think there are people who might have something interesting or useful to say, especially if they’re actually doing what I want to do. Why is their experience not worth anything?

WRITER 1: Um, I never said that.

WRITER 2: Um, yes you did. You said they were frauds.

WRITER 1: Well … that’s all and good, but for every *sensible* person like you then, there will be HUNDREDS OF NEWBIES taken in by this crap and they will be left horribly disappointed when their work doesn’t sell and they’re left living in THEIR OWN SWILL.

WRITER 2: But shouldn’t we be looking at our OWN work and thinking it about in our OWN way – which includes reading books and blogs and whatnot – if that’s what we want to do, individually? Personally I like looking at everything I can and deciding what I think does AND doesn’t work.

WRITER 1: Except it’s just procrastination! It takes us away from the real stuff – ACTUAL WRITING. If it was as easy as these supposed Gurus and bloggers reckoned, we’d all be doing it, right?

WRITER 2: Well, quite a lot of us are. If there wasn’t a market for it, they wouldn’t write the books. Or the blogs. Or hold the courses. Right?

WRITER 1: See, you’re getting it now! They’re like PARASITES, sucking away at our talent! If these story guys were SO into story, they wouldn’t be doing it for MONETARY GAIN.

WRITER 2: Right. ‘Cos when you work in the media, you don’t have mortgages or rent or childcare or food or hall rental or anything like that. And anyway, Bloggers don’t get paid for the most part. They give hundreds of posts of info away for free. By the way, have you actually read or done any of these books or courses you’re attacking?

WRITER 1: No. I don’t need to. *I* can recognise them as THE FRAUDS THEY ARE.

WRITER 2: I give up.

Dear Writer

Free e-book, Screenwriting Tips (PDF)

The Required Reading List

My interview with Yves Lavandier (part one: On Scriptwriting and part two: Script Reading, Gurus & Philosophy ), author of my personal fave book about writing, Writing Drama – buy it here.

How To Connect with Other Writer 2s (and hopefully avoid the Writer 1s)

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5 thoughts on “Frauds & Parasites! (Or Why There’s ALWAYS More Than One Way Of Looking At This Scriptwriting Lark)”

  1. lol awesome.

    There a story behind this? Inquiring minds want to know. Meaning, me. πŸ™‚

    I hate to admit it, but my mentality is like Writer # 1. I think most books don't hold the answers I'm looking for. The irony is that I often read screenwriting books because they are the only thing that stimulates/frustrates/inspires me enough to sit down in front of the computer long enough to actually write the ideas in my head.

    You hit the nail on the head–

    "But shouldn't we be looking at our OWN work and thinking it about in our OWN way"

    Totally agree.

    I think most screenwriting books/blogs hold a ton of valuable information. But budding writers need to realize, what they are espousing are the things that have worked for the book's author. How they think about dramatic structure.

    What works for you as an individual will likely be something else.

    If you're like Writer 1, you probably look at the books like they are supposed to have some secret formula that once you internalize the contents you can turn yourself on (tee-hee) like a copy machine and churn out pages.

    That simply isn't true.

    Writing is hard work.

    But screenwriting books and blogs are a great place to start your journey towards figuring out what works for you.

    I sound like a PSA — The more you know~

  2. James – the story behind this? Just my life ; )

    I find it extraordinary some writers tell others *how* they ought to "see" various things, their beef being they're apparently being told what to do! At best it's a bit silly, at worst it's hypocritical.

    Don't get me wrong, I've read plenty I disagree with TOTALLY. I'm no advocate of swallowing advice whole with no thought whatsoever… But it also helps to know what one is disagreeing with.

    But it's also important to rmbr that no one forces anyone to do this scriptwriting thing a *particular* way, either. Don't like books? You don't have to read them. Sorted.

    There's a lot of writers about so busy ranting about formulas or whatever when their time would be better spent just writing and making their own mistakes instead IMHO.

  3. I believe writer 1 maybe the same writer who gets hysterical about copyright or folks nicking their ideas.

    I've come across the type before – all too keen to put everyone else down because of their own issues. I usually neck my drink then make my excuses to go and find someone else to talk to while Writer 1 seeths with impotant rage that, yet again, someone else has left them alone at a networking event.

    It feeds into your other comments today about making it happen.

    You are only ever responsible for your actions and reactions in any situation – if someone elses massive action has turned into success don't begrudge it them, learn from them.

  4. Wise words Gail! We're *all* guilty of falling into negative thought patterns – I'm no different – and sometimes I see certain people succeed and want to blow a veritable GASKET over it… And then I rmbr Scribefather Adrian Mead's mantra:

    Keep on doing what you're doing… keep on getting what you're getting.

    The stuff you get can be good… or it can be crap. I choose good!!!

  5. Pingback: Lies Writers Tell Themselves, Pt 2: Careers | Bang2Write

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