Over the past year or so of writing true stories I have reached the conclusion that we are in fact bottomless wells of stories. Even if we think we don’t remember much, we actually do have a surprising amount stored away. The more I remember, the more I remember. I also have had a growing awareness of the relationship between strong emotions and vivid memories. If you can recall something that happened to you when you were five, chances are very good that you were feeling something significant at the time. And what that means is that sometimes there’s a story to be found there too.
And it came about in the camps along the roads, on the ditch banks beside the streams, under the sycamores, that the story teller grew into being, so that the people gathered in the low firelight to hear the gifted ones.
Edward Hopper…is the writer and actor, and he shows his painting to Bud and Carl, the producer and the director. They say, “Yeaahhhh, Edward, it’s nice, real nice, I like that, it’s kinda moody. We’re just afraid that it’s kinda lonely for what we’re going for here.” And Edward Hopper responds, “Well, that’s the point. The goddamn painting is called ‘Loneliness.’”
“The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head.” – Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”
The mind behind Being John Malkovich, Human Nature, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York talks, well, not so much about screenwriting but more about writing, authenticity and vulnerability. The video below presents highlights, but you can easily follow links to the entire lecture in audio or transcript form. What I […]
A story describes a sequence of actions and experiences done or undergone by a certain number of people, whether real or imaginary. These people are presented either in situations that change or as reacting to such change. In turn, these changes reveal hidden aspects of the situation and the people involved, and engender a new […]
“Properly written texts are like spiders’ webs: tight, concentric, transparent, well-spun and firm. They draw into themselves all the creatures of the air. Metaphors flitting hastily through them become their nourishing prey. Subject matter comes winging toward them.”