By Alex Cox
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Additional resources for 10,000 Ways to Die
Clarity and concision do not automatically equate to mediocrity and blandness. Neither do opacity nor verbosity automatically equate to authenticity or artistry. Remember that there is a big difference between being clear on the page and being blandly transparent on the screen. For now, bear in mind the obvious: unlike in a novel, your writing is where your movie starts, not ends, and making that movie will cost you, or hopefully somebody else, a great deal of money per page. What would you prefer to spend it on?
I bet somewhere, sometime in your past, somebody has given you this little mind-killer of an advice nugget at least once. Google it as a phrase and you will see how often somebody blogs it as a homily. The assumption here is that, if you stick to your areas of specialist knowledge and direct experience, then you will find the task of coming up with good ideas easier; the process of writing smoother; and the stories you write will be more likely to come across as somehow ‘authentic’ … whatever that means.
I suppose it’s a kind of metathinking (thinking about thinking), but in a directed and at least partially disciplined way. In screenwriting, for example, one manifestation of this metathinking frequently involves mentally putting yourself in someone else’s skin, a character’s in this case, and looking at the world you have created through their eyes. Fortunately we come to the process of being ‘intentionally creative’ with a wide range of skills and experience that will all prove useful. There are only two problems.
10,000 Ways to Die by Alex Cox