Saturday, February 24, 2007

Screenwriting is to Newspaper Editing...

So, I was sitting down trying to figure out what past experiences have prepared me for a life in screenwriting. In other words, I was procrastinating.

After about two minutes - did I mention I have ADD? - I realized there’s no such thing as being prepared for anything. There is no spoon.

But about three minutes later, I started doing some more procrastinating... I mean, thinking, and I started remembering my days on the staff of my college newspaper, during which time I served as a copy editor, then assistant editor, as well as having my own column.

Hmmm, maybe there might be some things I can pull out from my old bag of experiences. Let’s see...

Deadlines. When it absolutely, positively has to get to the printers within the next 20 minutes and you still have to put the finishing touches on the layout. Experience learned? Procrastination. Yup, this has come in handy.

But in all seriousness, there are two things - I’m sure there’s more, but my ADD won’t allow me to concentrate for that long. So, the two things that still remain with me from those long, long, long, long hours working to get a newspaper out and to the public are...

What was I saying?

Oh, the two things,

Rewriting. I only wish that many newspapers did this. Have you noticed how many damn mistakes there are in newspapers nowadays? And let’s not even talk about news reporting on the Internet. But, anyway, I digress.

As a black newspaper on a large - huge - mostly white, university, we knew that we had to put out the best-looking and best-written paper we could. There was no room for mediocrity. So, every article was rewritten until we felt it was first, coherent; second, enlightening; and third, unique in some way that would grab the attention of the reader and keep them coming back for more.

Without realizing, I carry this over to my screenwriting - or, at least, I try.

Second lesson learned...

Honestly, I forgot. Damn, I hate when that happens.

The point of all this? It’s a blog, a chance for me to hear myself ramble on about shit that nobody even reads.

But the chance that someone stops by...

The point is, use what you have. What experiences in life have prepared you to be right where you are at this very moment?

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