More Bad Writing. By Me.

This is the rewritten (perhaps final?) version of something I’m working on. Makes sense, eh?

Dalgleish is on the ocean. Our house is at the far far end of town, where the lighthouse used to be. Long ago, when ships sailed in and out of here a lot, it was the last landmark before ships hit the open sea. There are still pilings in the front yard from when there was a dock about a hundred or two hundred or three hundred years ago.

Makes sense more or less, anyway. Now, following, the first draft. And it’s tortured. Makes far less sense. Remember, this is a novel, not a screenplay, so it’s a tad on the wordy side anyway.

Dalgleish is on the ocean and, long ago, when ships sailed in and out of here a lot, our house, which was at the far far end of the town, is where the lighthouse used to be, last stop before ships hit the open sea. There are still pilings in the front yard from when there was a dock about a hundred or two hundred or three hundred years ago.

Not quite so clear, eh?

It made sense to me when I wrote it. It made sense to me when I read it. It made sense to me when I read it out loud. The problem is, it makes no sense to someone reading it who is not me. And guess what, that’s your audience… someone who is not you. This is one of the agonies of writing… you have to figure out a way to put your head in their head and see your writing from 20,000 feet. It’s not easy.

But what is?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “More Bad Writing. By Me.

  1. Brett in Manhattan

    So, which is harder, writing a novel or a screenplay?

  2. So far, a screenplay seems much harder. Ask me after I’ve failed a zillion times to sell the novel… The novel has been more fun because I only wrote it to amuse myself. I wanted to write something FUN and that is what I have been doing. It had been years since I’d written for the sheer pleasure of doing it, so I don’t really care if it sells. However, now that I am down to the rewrite and not the spinning plates / first draft… I’m having less fun and hoping more and more that it will sell. So, the answer: I dunnno.

  3. Brett in Manhattan

    I’m not surprised. A novel allows a writer more flexibility with regard to form and structure.

    As you know, a screenplay needs to be an exact length and can’t have any fat.

    In your book, you mention screenwriters don’t get much respect. I believe part of the reason is that screenwriting seems easy, on the surface. Just come with an idea. Bang out the story, and you’re done.

    Not until you actually attempt to write a screenplay do you realize that it’s almost impossible.

    • Yeah, boy.
      Richard Sylbert told me the reason everyone hates writers is because until they finish what they’re doing, nobody else gets paid.
      A LOT of bad scripts get written because of the (Terry Rossio’s) Crap + 1 theory… A guy sees a movie in the theater and says, “That’s crap. I can do better than that!”
      And it’s not easy.

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