A while back Sheikspear memed me with a challenge to list my pet writing hates. So rather belatedly here they are.
1a/ A lack of time. Since it took me five months to get round to doing this post, it’s no surprise that number one on this list is not having enough time to write. Or indeed read, watch decent films, I haven't blown my nose since Tuesday...etc, etc. (I kid you not, we have a three foot wide shelf, full of new DVDs waiting to be watched.)
1b/ In the little time I do get I’m usually too tired to think. I have a physically demanding day job so in the evenings lifting a mug of tea and trying to remember how to drink it, is about the limit of my mental abilities. (Ahh, the life of an international super model takes it out of you.) Trying to deal with the subtleties of script development when all your energy is being used just to keep you awake is a guarantee of turning out rubbish.
2/ Thinking up some perfect scene/ dialogue/ prose etc, when you are walking or driving home. Unable to write it down you keep going over it in your head. It’s perfect. It’s character defining, it’s award winning, it’s bloody brilliant. Never before has anybody been able to sum things up as perfectly as this. You are staggered by your own genius. But just before you get to the safety of your desk, somebody you vaguely know says “Hello” you politely say “Hi” and in that instant, like Kaiser Soze “Puff…and it’s gone”. The industry standard response to this is: “OH @#&*!!!%”.
3/ Spending a considerable chunk of your life working on a story idea. Only to find out that for the same amount of her life your wife has been working on a very similar idea. The industry standard response to this is: “OH @#&*!!!%”.
P.S. Two or three reworks later our ideas are far enough apart now and the reworking I think has turned out better stories. We also talk about what we are working on much earlier in the development stage. It’s good to talk.
4/ Having a really good idea, which seems to just pour out of you without any real effort on your part. It all just seems to slot in so beautifully it’s like it was just waiting for you to write it. Only to have somebody say “Isn't that the plot of (insert name of major Hollywood or obscure foreign language film here.)” The industry standard response to this is: “OH @#&*!!!%”.
5/ Never being able to find a parking space wide enough for your giant mechanical scorpion. (Sorry that’s from a different list.)
Note to self. Get “OH @#&*!!!%” printed on a tee-shirt.
See you soon.