Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Write What You Know

A writer is an amplifier and a magnifier. Life is about things happening to people. Drama is about making some kind of sense of it.

The arena is unimportant. Pluto, Antartica, Croydon? Doesn't matter. The essential elements of drama are that it takes a universal truth about the human condition and presents it in a way that is recognisable, engrossing and thought provoking.

As Aristotle said, 'Everything else is shit' Well okay he didn't, but I bet he thought it. Most people, in their most honest, deepest, darkest hours will admit they don't know what the hell life's about. They get by day to day, taking the defeats and the victories, cursing the fates for the bad luck and accepting the good as their entitlement. The rest are sociopaths.

Convention keeps us sane. Drama, good drama, pierces that thin crust between our imagination and our 'race memory' need to sacrifice the individual for the collective good. It reminds us that individual emotion is really the overuling factor in our lives, not pleasing bosses, making money, owning things. It reaches you on a primeval, not superficial level.

It keeps you saner than convention. That's why it's been around for so long.


about jenji said...

Thanks for the pep talk!


English Dave said...

Thanks jenji. Oddly enough the post was inspired by the break up with my girlfriend minutes before.

All the crap life throws at you are simply more bullets for the writers gun.

Eleanor said...

Sorry to hear that ED.

But inspiring post, got me thinking of another approach - the self sacrife angle - on a story that's be gnawing at me a while now. Thanks! :)

Lucy said...

You gotta do what you gotta do and fuck all the other shit. So many new writers think the way in is writing for the market - but given they're OUTSIDE the market, can they really have an accurate idea of what the market entails? The best thing I ever did was write the two stories encapsulating the two things that meant most to me 'cos people did respond to it. Not always and once someone called me "a twisted little bitch" but hey, they're probably right.

And if you're broken up with her now ED, maybe you should write her into a script? Won't count as libel if you give her a different name ; )

English Dave said...

Oh she'll be there Lucy, in some way, shape or form lol

English Dave said...

And Eleanor - You are definitely a writer. Compassionate but at the same time 'Fuck, I can use that'