A story can contain a world, or a single heartbeat. A sad story can fester in your soul and break it, or shared with others, it can make us whole. A happy story can make us fly on wings of endless possibility, or cry to give release to the swelling of our being. Stories are so important to understanding our past, our present, and where we want to go in our future.
A story is life. One life. All life. Breath.
We all have the power to be tellers of stories, but some of us are blessed. Some of us are storytellers. Some of us storytellers have chosen screenwriting as our medium, and I want you to understand what that means to me.
My beloved fellow emerging screenwriters, I want you to succeed. I want you to know that if I tell you to use standard formatting, or to cut your script down from 300 pages, I am not trying to stifle your creativity, I am trying to help you have a better chance of sharing your story with the world. It hurts me when I see some of you fighting so hard to make it while shooting yourself in the foot. I want to help you. I admit, sometimes I express this too passionately. Other times, I suggest it in a wounded voice filled with concern.
I’m not sure if it’s because of how I feel about story, or my compassion for people, but I know I care too much. It’s odd that many of the men I know who care too much cover and protect their hearts with umbrage and sarcasm. Me, a heaviness blankets me. I get quiet as I mourn my failure to make you understand.
So, I implore you now, LISTEN. Does the person talking to you have your best interest at heart? Do they come from experience you don’t have? Wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others. Be wise, listen.
Is the example you’re holding onto the exception to the rule? That one guy who sold a script written in crayon on the back of reams of recycled paper is one in a billion. Don’t you want to do everything to increase your odds? Don’t you want to make it as easy as possible for someone else to read your story?
Don’t you want to make it easy to help someone else breathe?