Writing fiction takes practice and time

posted by Jeff | Monday, September 7, 2020, 4:40 PM | comments: 0

I've watched a bunch of the filmmaker and writer courses on Masterclass, and I have more to see. So far I've done Aaron Sorkin, Spike Lee and Judd Apatow, and they're all pretty great. Ron Howard was a little too big budget to be useful. I still need to watch Werner Herzog, and if I can find time, David Lynch, Jodie Foster and Martin Scorsese. What was useful about the first few though is that they're writers, and they have a process for what they do. All three offered the harsh reality that indicates that writing is hard because you have to do it a lot to get anything useful or worth using.

Writing fiction, for the screen, is something I want to do, because other than one really bad screenplay I wrote years ago, and dozens of fragments, I don't have anything cohesive. I needed to hear the advice from the pros, because I need that reality check if I'm to ever act on it and make something.

It's a weird thing, because as much as I love to write, the idea of it taking a lot of time is daunting. Most of what I've written in any substantially longer form than an essay has come to me quickly, but it was all non-fiction. For example, writing about people I've met was not hard, and I could do it in a sitting or two. Heck, the software programming book I wrote back in 2004 generally came together a chapter at a time with me just cranking it out.

Of all the things I've said that I wanted to do, I've probably wanted to do this for the longest period of time. That comes with a fair amount of self-loathing relative to my inaction, but it's like anything else, in that I just have to commit to it. I mean, I'm close to writing a little code for open source projects for 100 straight weeks. I haven't had red meat in 15 years. Like anything else, I imagine you just have to develop the habit. That always seems so hard though, because creative endeavors seem to require a mood or inspiration, and those can be hard to come by.


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