Tuesday, December 13, 2011

baby-stepping screenwriter

Reading the work of people who are better than I am tends to have two simultaneous and opposite effects on me. On the one hand, I feel super-charged to go out and scribble me some awesome; on the other, I feel like a useless, talentless turd. I've been reading a lot on *johnaugust.com in the past couple of weeks, and right now I feel like an awesome, super-jazzed, inspired piece of poopy.

Fortunately for me, one of the recurring themes on August's website is that everybody who writes feels this way a lot of the time, and success comes to those who can focus on the awesomeness long enough to work through the fear. So when August invents a few lines of dialogue to answer a reader's question and they're better and funnier than anything I've ever written, ever, I just shrug my shoulders and remember that not only did he probably steal it from somebody else, I've also got something he'll never have... ME.

I've been places and seen things he'll never see, and I've got networks of neurons in my brain he can only dream about. That, coupled with the fact that I have written and read like a motherfool for the past few years, means that I am capable of writing films he couldn't imagine. But I've got a feeling - from the way he's written about three jillion posts giving all sorts of encouraging, insider tips - that John August would be pleased to hear it.

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*For the uninitiated, John August is the writer behind Charlie's Angels, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, and a bunch of other stuff.

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