Friday, November 19, 2010
Press Author Dennis Palumbo writes for The Huff Post
In the early 60's, there was a hot art-house movie called The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. I think of this film sometimes when trying to help my writer patients working on long-form projects---novels, plays, screenplays, etc. The running analogy is a good one, because long-form writing is like running a marathon: it requires endurance, patience, a deep reserve of will power and commitment, and an almost Herculean ability to delay gratification.
(To continue the analogy, other kinds of writing might be likened to sprints---short stories, sitcoms, poems, etc. Sprints require a burst of speed and power, the knock-out punch of a single idea or concept, and a quick build to an explosive finish.)
Where the long-form writer gets in trouble is in believing that he or she can maintain over the length of the project the same vigor and intensity that's brought to a shorter piece. Hence, when the work slows, or gets bogged down in exposition, or drifts off on tangents, the writer panics. His or her confidence flags. Enthusiasm drains away. The unfinished novel or screenplay is, metaphorically
speaking, "put away in a drawer," often never to be brought out again... read the rest of the article here...
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Posted by Will Hanisko at 10:21 AM