I was cleaning out some old files when I came across drafts of screenplays I wrote in the 1990s. They were awful. Eye-achingly awful. So awful that I shredded them and put them in the recycling bin.
But when I wrote those scripts, I thought they were so wonderful that I registered one of them with the Writers Guild of America and sent it to an agent. He rejected it. I could see why. That script was so bad that DC couldn’t have turned it into a superhero movie.
Did I waste my time and effort writing those screenplays? No. They were just another example of why you need bad writing to get to good writing. Here’s why.
Fiction involves some sort of conflict. Usually, the source of the conflict is visible: another person, the environment, or some other physical threat. Even conflicts within ourselves are made visible through our actions.
What if the source can’t be seen? What if it is something powerful and overwhelming, but abstract? What if the adversary is something like greed, racism, political repression, social stratification, or ignorance? How do you slay the dragon, especially when it can’t be seen?
Here are some tips on creating and slaying the dragon in our stories.
Are you sick of politics? I’m sure tired of writing about it. So, when do I go back to writing about public speaking? Writing? My books? Reseda? When do things go back to normal?
Like it or not, this is the new normal. And we have to live with it from this point forward.