Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nothin But Darkness

Do you ever wonder if anyone is paying attention to you, or what you have to say? The truth is, everything we say matters. Whether it's a fact, or embelished truth, or a flat out lie, what we say affects something or someone around us. And if you are a writer, what you wish for more than anything else, is to be heard. It's the old addage: If a tree falls in the forest and no one's around to hear it does it make a noise? Of course it does. And when you blog about something--which in the old days meant offering your opinion about something--it DOES make a noise even if no one reads it. The problem is, we WANT others to hear the 'tree fall', to acknowledge that they have at least laid eyes on the words that stumbled from our subconscience onto the blank page. For those of you that think it's easy, try putting together several paragraphs of witty banter or a short piece of intilectual gold worthy of someone elses time. And do this WITHOUT your english teacher looking over your shoulder pointing out your overuse of adverbs and your frequent run-on sentences. Go ahead! Impress me.

I'm in the process of getting my book formated for publication and was informed by the publisher that it would be 326 pages. Holy Mother of Jesus! Please excuse my language here. But just think about it. How many of you have written more than say, a ten page essay? How about fifty pages? Anyone for a hundred? 326 pages is in the neiborhood of 91, 365 words, give or take a hundred. It's months of work! And the truth is, I probably trashed or rewrote another 10,000 words trying to get it perfect, which I never will according to the editors and agents that keep telling me it's not good enough. I know what your thinking; SO WHY DO IT? The answer is simple: I LOVE to write. Love it!
I was recently watching the remake of TRUE GRIT and had to write down a line in the movie that caught my attention. When the Sheriff was describing Rooster Cogburn to the teenage girl, he warmed her that Rooster "liked to pull a cork now and then". He didn't say, "He's a drunk." or say, "He's a drunken loser." For those of you who aren't aware of this, a movie has to be written--by a writer or team of writers--before the video camera is ever pulled out of its case. I wonder if this script writer would like to know that one of the lines he or she so carefully crafted made me stop and smile. I think I'll find them and let them know. I bet they'll be thrilled. What do you think?


Jan Rider Newman said...

Right on. I read your words, and I nodded my head the whole time. True Grit was a good movie. I didn't want to see it till my son kind of insisted, and I loved it. See, I couldn't get the Kim Darby/Glen Campbell version out of my head. :)

Sherry Perkins said...

I'm with you when it comes to putting words down. We want others to read them, but really the words are for us. Check this out, I always write down a line from a movie when it strikes me. Although some folks may have seen the movie "A Family Thing" with James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall, but what they may not know is that Billy Bob Thornton wrote it. I love his writing style. Robert Duvall's character says, "Happiness is nothing more than having something to look forward to." You've got to find that movie and watch it. Funny thing is, in the Special Features of "Slingblade," BBT says the exact same thing as he's talking about his upbringing in rural Arkansas.

P.S. Really love your blog!

James R Tate said...

Thanks for commenting ladies. When I saw the original True Grit, I kept expecting Glen Campbell to break out in song. By the way, Jan, did you happen to see Glen sing at the Grammy's this year?
I appreciate the compliment Sherry. I'm big on single points in a movie or book.

Jess said...

I saw Glen singing at the Grammys. He did a good job. Wanted to cry for what he'll be facing.