Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Think Before You Slip Your Manuscript Into an Editor's Handbag

Just caught this September Village Voice piece eloquently titled: "I Will Not Read Your F@cking Script." It was pretty interesting, but also wince-inducing. As an unagented, unpublished n00b, I cringe at the idea of aggressively treading on people's toes to get my "in." If you've been to writing conferences, there's a chance you've witnessed some pretty embarrassing stuff.  

Luckily, kidlit isn't quite as cutthroat as Hollywood.

I especially like this part:
"Which brings us to an ugly truth about many aspiring screenwriters: They think that screenwriting doesn't actually require the ability to write, just the ability to come up with a cool story that would make a cool movie. Screenwriting is widely regarded as the easiest way to break into the movie business, because it doesn't require any kind of training, skill or equipment. Everybody can write, right?"

There's a similar stereotype in kidlit - that it's not real writing, or serious writing, especially in the ways of picture books. Well, there's a reason so many great ideas don't turn into books... and a reason why the ones that do become classics stay with you for a lifetime.

2 comments:

  1. I don't write picture books, but I think those writers really must have it hard. People, smart people, will say astonishingly stupid things about PB only requiring "a handful of words".

    I had no idea screenwriting was considered easy. I guess to me, it always seemed like a difficult choice b/c a writer has to blend two mediums together. (I guess.) LOL.

    Oh well. I've never passed a MS under a bathroom stall. (But I know a songwriter who did that AND his song was chosen, recorded, and became a radio hit.)

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  2. @bridgette - PBs are so intimidating! And the writing is truly an art.

    Maybe I should consider bringing a copy of my WIP into the ladies room... haha!

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