The great thing about working as a writer (as opposed to being, say, an actor) is you only need a pencil and a piece of paper to work. Nobody can stop you from writing a novel. No one can stop you from banging out a screenplay. Maybe you’re not being paid, maybe nobody knows who you are, maybe no one will ever read, let alone publish or produce your book or movie. But you can KEEP WORKING entirely on your own. I have a closet in my office. In it are thirty-seven screenplays. Seven of them actually brought in money,…Read More
[Continuing our series on Bad Guys in film and fiction … ] The villain believes in a world of scarce resources and a competition of all against all. As the villain sees it, the human race inhabits a post-Edenic cosmos, i.e. a universe in which all of us have been kicked out of the Garden (where our needs were provided for in abundance) and are condemned for ever after to scuffle for a living out here on the mean streets. Or, as the tribesmen of Pashtunistan might phrase it, I against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin;…Read More
With the exception of a few long-distance glimpses of tribal Arab wives and mothers ululating in valediction as their husbands and sons ride off to war (and a quick peek or two at be-jeweled feminine hands extending from beneath side-curtains in camel-borne covered conveyances), there are no female characters in Lawrence of Arabia. Or are there? I would make the case that the female in Lawrence is the desert. As we wrote in an earlier “Female Carries the Mystery” post: The desert is remote and mysterious. It is timeless, eternal. In the world of the Bedouin the desert is the…Read More
The last thing I do before closing my eyes to sleep is to mentally prepare myself for the fight tomorrow. How easy it is, congratulating yourself after a productive today, to talk yourself into slacking off tomorrow. The first post in this series was titled RESISTANCE WAKES UP WITH ME. It does, and I know it. Resistance will hit me tomorrow morning before I even open my eyes. It will try to turn my success today into failure tomorrow. Resistance will try to convince me I can relax, ease up. “You put a good day in the bank today. Enjoy…Read More
I did an Instagram “live” a few days ago with the thriller writer Jack Carr. Do you know him? He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper and task force commander, who is a natural-born teller of ripping yarns that grow out of his own experience in the hot political and military spots around the globe.Read More
I’m not joking when I say I do some of my best work in bed. In the middle of the night. Something about that twilight stage of consciousness when we’re not awake but not asleep either. Why do ideas come to us in the shower, or where we’re shaving or driving on the freeway and hanging onto a strap in the subway? Those too are twilight states. They are “gateway stages” when the membrane is down and insights can bubble up from the Muse’s secret sanctuary. The ego, I believe, is the generator of Resistance. So when the ego is…Read More
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