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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

DcH, I keep seeing these screenwriters selling their slick, assembly line scripts on Inktip, while my screenplays are deep and artistic, but never sell.  It gets so frustrating.  I could use your advice.

Carl


This week's Answer: 

Y (or X) Write?

Well, Carl, maybe you could write a deep and artistic script about an assembly line.  Or... how about an assembled and deep script about an artist?  All jesting aside, I know how that ďhey, why is everybody in Godís acre selling scripts except for me?Ē feeling feels.  Itís not one of the pleasant ones, to be sure.  I guess it gets down to a question you must ask yourself (and not forget to answer, too).  And it will help, once youíve answered the question, to REMEMBER what your answer was.  That way, you donít have to keep asking it or forgetting to ask it or forgetting to keep asking it.  And that question is...

Why Do I write?

I donít mean for you to ask ME why I write (although, you could, but my answer might not help you as much as your own).  Better to ask yourself why you write.  Are you writing in order to sell slick, assembly-line scripts on Inktip? (not to say thereís anything wrong with writing what the majority of viewers will watch and be paid a pretty penny for it).  Or are you writing more for artistic reasons than commercial ones?  Which is fine, too.  Art is good.  It's very artful.  What you donít want to do is keep enlisting in the AVC War (Art vs. Commerce War) (unless you like fighting and struggling and getting wounded).  Actually, even better than avoiding that war is to not even see it such, as two opposing forces, but rather just as one entity, the entity of (and this is deep so hold onto your hat, or cap, or hair if youíre not wearing anything on it)...

GETTING PAID WELL FOR WRITING WORDS ON PAGE AFTER PAGE THAT SOMEBODY AND PROBABLY MANY SOMEBODYíS  WILL CHANGE OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO THE POINT THAT IT MAY BE HARD TO RECOGNIZE MOST OF THE WORDS YOU WROTE WHEN THEY FINALLY GET TO THE SCREEN

  Do you see when you look at your conumdrum in this light, there really is no conumdrum?  In a sense, the problem is how youíre looking at the entertainment industry.  If you want to join that Inktip assembly line, as you put it, go right ahead.  And if you would prefer not to, thatís all right, too.  The point is to know where you stand, to know what you stand for (and why you stand a lot in the first place when you could sit or lie down more).  I a nswered that question a long time ago and now truly understand my relationship to the industry.  You will, too.  I hope this helped, but now I have to cut this short.

I  need to finish my third act of Terror On The Freeway.

DcH                                                                   related cartoon

 

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