Please click HERE to see an interview/discussion I had with Authornomics.com, who ask some great questions about story architecture, process and why it works.
Then come on back to read another piece from regular Storyfix contributor Art Holcomb.
Produce, Produce, Produce
a guest post by Art Holcomb
“Two pieces of paper hang above my desk.”
The first, you may remember, is a portrait of Scheherazade.
The other is the following quote copied in my own hand from 1975:
“Produce, produce, produce . . . for, I tell you, the night is coming.
Whether it is, as stated here, a quote from the British poet and critic Mathew Arnold, or as paraphrased in the New Testament (John 9:4), or as a line in a Supertramp song, the sentiment is the same.
Your hours are finite.
Your time at the keyboard is stolen from your other life. If Larry is correct and it will take you a daunting 10,000 hours to hone your craft to the point that it is ready to show your wit and skill to others, you know that you have to make each moment count.
Each story, each poem, each capsule of yourself that you set out on the page must be the best that it can be.
You are finite; your words are not. Your immortality lies in your ability to tell that story and through it to make the connection to another person that you have been so desperate to make all this time.
Publishing is important but it’s not why you write. It is not the point of your work. To you, in the moments you write, what are important are the secrets that you learn about yourself and the world in which you live. Your ability to translate those experiences and dreams into something the reader/viewer can feel – that ability to take the reader/viewer somewhere they have never been – is at the heart of being a writer.
You have so much more to say than you know. And the night is coming, and sooner than we imagine. Whether your desire is to have a book with your name on it, a credit on a film or a poem that will be recited by another, it will all depend on your ability to build your stories as well as you can and move on to the next challenge.
That means you must learn your craft.
No more hemming and hawing. No more stumbling into your story while freewriting.
Never in the history of Man were the tools needed by a writer to make glorious story more easily and readily available.
You’ve already taken a giant step. You’ve found this website and the treasures within.
Find the tools. Own the tools . . .
And then use them to create something new, something better.
That’s the way to create a body of work.
That’s the way to build a career.
Art Holcomb is a screenwriter whose work has appeared on the SHOWTIME Channel and a comic book author of such comics as Marvel’s X-MEN and Acclaim’s ETERNAL WARRIORS. He is a regular guest blogger to STORYFIX.COM. A number of his recent posts appear in the Larry Brooks’ collection: Warm Hugs for Writers: Comfort and Commiseration of The Writing Life. He appears and teaches at San Diego Comic-Con and other writing and media conventions. His most recent screenplay is 4EVER (a techno-thriller set in the Afterlife) and is completing a work book for writers entitled, The Pass: A Proven System for Getting from Notion to Finished Manuscript. He lives in Southern California.