Bad advice for writers is everywhere, but this article by Jason Hellerman sums it up – or should we say “pins it down?” – perfectly.
5 Instances of Terrible Writing Advice [w/Lessons from Each]
by Jason Hellerman
Tell me if this rings a bell, you’re attending a screenwriting seminar, listening to a lecture, or getting notes from someone, and they lean in and tell you they have a piece of advice. After hearing it, you shake your head. You feel a little worse off than you started, and you’re not sure what to do next.
Terrible writing advice is all around us. Bad writing advice comes from many sources. We hear it in blogs, podcasts, and all over Social Media.
Today I want to go over the 5 biggest pieces of terrible screenwriting advice I’ve heard, debunk each of them, and give you the proper lessons to take away from each of them.
Ready? Let’s go…
Terrible Writing Advice Tip #1: Write What You Know
I know I have told this to someone. So right off the bat, let’s start with the advice I am guilty of handing out. When I tell someone I think they should “write what they know” chances are I’m searching for a personal connection that I just don’t find in their pages.
Akin to that, they might have an under-researched idea that makes reading their pages a slog or hard. When I was an assistant I got to work closely with Michael Werwie, who wrote Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.
Michael was so much fun to learn from because he epitomized the best part of “write what you know” – a screenwriter who is confident and knowledgeable about the subject she’s tackled. Michael was not a serial killer (I hope) but he was an expert on Ted Bundy. So he was able to write Ted with authenticity and breathe new life into a case most Americans thought they knew and understood.
When we gave Michael story notes, he was able to hear them and craft them in a way that aligned with the facts….
Read it all at nofilmschool.com