Peggy Bechko sez “The Truth is in the Sayin'”

just saying

by Peggy Bechko


As I’ve gone through life writing I’ve heard a whole lot of sayings and quotes on the subject of writing, publishing, screenwriting…you name it, and I’ve stopped to ponder a few I thought were worthwhile. Heck I’ve pondered a lot I thought were full of it.

Here are some I’ve liked; or not.

“You need tools in the toolbox to write.” Yep. All righty. And what might they be?

“Better to write one superb sentence than a hundred mediocre ones”. Now that one hits a bit closer to home. I can’t deny that one. But I will say we writers frequently have to write a hundred mediocre sentences in order to finally create that singe superb sentence.

Here’s another. “Whatever you’re in the process of writing, it always plays better in your head than it does on the paper.” True? I think this one can apply well to scrip writers. How many times have you or I thought, wow, what a great idea, what a great scene, then got it down, reread it and went ugh!?

“Every published writer (every script writer) has produced some unsalable work.” Some? Wow, that’s kind. It’s my guess that we writers have all produced a whole lot of unsalable work. Some has to be rewritten time and again and others just disappear into a deep, dark drawer never to surface again. The truth is the truth. Embrace it and move forward.

“Never excuse your work as just a draft.” Really. You’re a writer. You write. Drafts. First drafts, redrafts, final drafts. Why would you, either script writer or novelist want to bow your head and say in a small voice this is just a draft? How about this is my current draft. Or just stick with the facts. Here’s my latest manuscript or screen script. You’ll get enough criticism from others, no need to heap it on yourself. But I have to admit I agree with the statement, “it’s the final draft that creates a first impression.” In other words what you put in front of a prospective publisher/producer had better be your best work.

Here’s a down to earth truth we’ve all heard in a million ways and have no doubt told ourselves without coaching, “If you write it, there is at least a chance it will be published/produced. If you do not write it, there is no chance it will be published/produced.” It’s amazing how many great ideas never see the light of day because the writer simply talks about it but never actually makes the decision to write it. Seriously. If you don’t write it, it won’t do anything other than spin in circles inside your head. For crying out loud, write it already!

And lastly for today, I love Elmore Leonard’s quote, “Leave out the parts readers skp.” That one applies to pretty much any writer of anything. Edit well. Consider what you might skip over were you reading it for the first time. Whether Fiction novel writing or script writing. Take out the extras, write tight and to paraphrase Walt Disney, “keep moving forward.”

Have at it guys.

Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor.  Learn more about her HERE. And don’t forget Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle.  Grab your copy now!