Thursday, December 14, 2006

Confessions -1

My school is having a film festival, and since I've dabbled in the art myself, I figured to give it a go. It helps that the alpha female of my social group, who seems to have a high opinion of me, is going to college to be a producer. I have the experience and the script-writing skills, she has the filming technique down, I have the editing equipment and dedication, so we're set, right?


We needed actors.

With a script already written and possible actors/actresses picked out, one of the people we were counting on flatly refused to do it.

We had to find someone else.

The person we chose I shall call Mark. He is an orbital of the inner social group, and nice enough. We asked him. I emailed him the script.

He approached me the next day and said (I nearly quote): "Yeah, yeah, I really liked it, but... would you like me to clean your script up for you?"

I stared at him for a second, then turned and called over my alpha female in a high, wavering, panic voice.

/Clean up/ my script?!

He apparently had a brief brush with film over the summer (shooting a very poorly-executed fight scene starring, ironically, the guy we originally cast for this part but who refused), and as such thought he could lend a vast ammount of expertise to the project.

We were offended, hid it, and told him no thank you.

In subsequent emails, it came out that he was a "self-titled 'good' writer" -which should send warning signals shooting through your head.

Writerly Rules of Ettiquette Number One: /NEVER/ call yourself 'good' unless you can do it honestly and with no self-consciousness and unless it has been proven that you /are/ good. No, your friends and family saying they liked it does not count.

If someone bluntly asks if you are good, always sidestep the question. It is incredibly rude and very amateurish to label yourself as anything praiseworthy. Let the readers decide for themselves if you are good or not.

To get back to my story, within the flurry of emails, he asked about my writing credits.

Here I sort of committed the cardinal sin I just described. I have been published. I have been highly praised by members of the elite writing world. I have attracted the interest and love of readers on several online sites. I am recognized in all my writing and english classes as a 'good' writer. Does this actually make me 'good'? Can any writer ever finally assume themselves 'good'?

Taking a chance, and assuming by his 'self-titling' that he was a mediocre to bad writer, I figured that there was a very good chance I was better than him (O! such mean and poor terms, O! such ego!) and explained in no uncertain terms the extent of my experience.

I do not take writing lightly, and I will not tolerate assaults on my authority. This is a personality/character flaw of mine, and I do not recommend you develop it, unless you eventually plan to be a Supreme Bitch On Wheels, as I later turned into.

And thus, this is my confession. Sometimes... you just have to call yourself good and believe in it, and completely crush the opposition. Sometimes you have to ridicule other wannabe writers in private while secretly sweating, terrified that you are one of them as well.

And you? What horrid ego-centered, writer-related things have you done, said, encountered?