When I was young, I was friends with these native-Shipibo kids who played a game that was pretty much dodgeball... with a twist.
The twist was that they called it "Mata-Gente," which is Spanish
for "Kill People." Oh, and the other twist is that they didn't smile and laugh and
pretend like it was all in fun, like the bigger kids do in
dodgeball. Nope -- they were in it for the blood.
Maybe that's why I liked it. It felt honest.
"Kill People!" they screamed, and even with those flimsy little rubber balls,
they did their darndest. As one of the smaller guys out there (read:
perpetual target), I appreciated the sincerity.
So... confession time: I like to kill people.
There's this cliche in the literary world that you gotta "Write what you know," and while most beginning writers don't take it nearly far enough -- writing only what they know experientially and ignoring what they know emotively and perhaps even spiritually -- I think that, like most cliches, this one exists because it's true. As I've compiled short stories for a book I'll be releasing in the not-too-distant future, I've found that most of my stories that have worked the very best have contained elements from both my emotional and experiential lives.
And I kill people in them.
Lots of people: old people, young people, people in a taxi... it's a bloodbath. Well, not exactly. There's also a story about a Hutterite boy getting caught with a dirty magazine, one about two trees that fall in love, another about getting into a fight at a high school reunion... and so on... but believe me, the peoples, they gwan be dyin'.
I tend to think that this is because it's a great way to build emotional intensity into a story, but an English-professor friend of mine told me once that people die in stories because the author is punishing them. I'm not sure if she's right, and I'm killing all these people because I've got something against the human race; but I'm happy to say that I've started to work in earnest on my next screenplay, and somebody's definitely gonna die at the end.
Yup... and I'm gonna kill 'em.
I think this might be why the beating-out-the-scenes phase of this one is going so smoothly. Or maybe it's because this next, fifth script is digging into what I know on a lot of different levels -- emotionally, psychologically, and so forth. Regardless... somebody's gonnaa die.
Another confession: I've never actually killed anyone.
I have thought an awful lot more about death than most people, though, and although I've not known too many people who've died, I've tended to feel quite deeply about it when they have.
So, in this latest script, I'm writing what I know and feel and experience, and someone's going to die. I'm going to kill him (it's a secret who) and, if I'm lucky, you and I will one day sit side by side in a theater and have a good sob about it, after said bucket has been kicked.
Because as much as I like to kill people... I absolutely hate it when they die.
Wry, ironic comment explaining why the gratuitous picture of the hot chicks to the left is actually relevant and somehow empowering to wom...
Things that whirr and click make me nervous, and not just because it seems likely that at some point they're going to take over, submerg...
The thing about women is, they're like cats. And like cats, if there is one thing you can count on with women it's their curios...
I recently read a cracked.com article arguing that film-makers are the myth-creators of our time, and that Hollywood's myths directly co...
I am writing to apologize for my behavior last Sunday. I want you to know that I am not normally one of those guys who acts like an idio...
I came across this picture on Facebook last night, shared by someone named "Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner," and -- as I&...
"What if money were no object?" the man asks, "what would you do?" I asked myself this question and started writing m...
Charlie Kaufman, to the uninitiated, is the brilliant pen behind a bunch of really weird films about the convoluted mind of Charlie Kaufman....
On Monday when Luis Togno sat down next to me at the Sucuri dojo in Waxhaw, North Carolina, I didn't really have any idea who he was. S...
If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking...