Posted by: michellemuldoon | May 21, 2013

Why I Write

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I recently had a conversation with a friend about screenwriting, and the mountain that sometimes feels insurmountable for the unproduced feature film screenwriter. Her thought was, why not write for the pure enjoyment of it, without the added baggage of expectation. Isn’t it enough to create a story, and have people read it?

My answer created a brief instant of shocked silence. Simply put, my answer was, No. Without resorting to expletives (which I thought was quite admirable), my friend asked why. After all, isn’t the point of writing to produce work that people can read and enjoy?

The explanation was a bit of a struggle, and it still is, but this is what I came up with. If I wrote a novel, the point of writing the novel would be to finish it, and have someone read it, hoping they enjoyed the story. Writing a novel is writing a finished product. To me, writing a screenplay is not. I don’t write a screenplay to write for the reader’s enjoyment. I write a screenplay in order to make a film. The film feels like the finished product. The script feels incomplete without it.

I write scripts to be a part of the team that makes film. The script is half the journey, half the glass, half the result. And this is what I love about the process. It allows for one vision to act as ground zero for something greater. It’s the act of putting those words in the hands of actors, directors, and producers that can elevate a script beyond its humble origins.

I don’t write, simply for the sake of writing. I don’t write so someone can read the story. I write so that I can collaborate. I write so that I can share the story with people who can take it on and add depth to the words through their own interpretations.

There’s joy in the cooperative participation of film, and the joy of that effort, the joy of releasing the vision into someone else’s hands, is the reason I write.

I write to share in the collective experience of the creative process.  The script is the caterpillar. The film is the butterfly. Who wouldn’t want their words to take flight?

Blue_butterfly

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Responses

  1. I absolutely agree! Thank you for articulating what is in my heart.

    • You’re so welcome. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s nice to know that others feel the same way.

  2. Michelle,

    Well said and good food for thought.

    • Thank you Aaliyah. This one definitely came from the heart.


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