Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Starting on a new project today. This is a work for hire, which is always a little different than when you're writing your own idea, but still, you want to do a great job. Actually just booked two jobs, so, juggling.

I picked up Lajos Egri's "Art of Dramatic Writing" because sometimes when I don't know where to begin, it helps to start by just reading about writing.

He quotes Ibsen (who funny enough I just read as further inspiration for one of these new scripts) who says -

"When I am writing I must be alone; if I have eight characters of a drama to do with I have society enough; they keep me busy; I must learn to know them. And this process of making their acquaintance is slow and painful.

I make, as a rule, three casts of my dramas, which differ considerably from each other. I mean in characteristics, not in the course of the treatment. When I first settle down to work out my material, I feel as if I have to get to know my characters on a railway journey; the first acquaintance is stuck up, and we have chatted about this and that.

When I write it down again, I already see everything much more clearly, and I know the people as if I had stayed with them for a month at a watering place. I have grasped the leading points of their characters and their little peculiarities..."

Well, Lajos, didn't write what the third pass was, but these two were a good start. I too hate to see people and do a bunch of socializing when I'm immersing myself in a new writing project, so I felt a kinship with Ibsen from the start of the quote. But I think what he's really saying, a great script is not something you enter into casually. It takes everything you have, and it should.

Like Red Smith says, "There's nothing to writing, you just sit at a typewriter and open a vein."

Anyway, that's more or less me putting my friends on notice that you probably won't see me for a while... going Ibsen.