Monday, January 3, 2011


There's an old saying in the business world, "Nothing happens until someone sells something."  That's really true. Until someone sells that new beer, you don't need factory workers, administrators, etc.  The same can be said for writing.  When you're listening to that catchy tune on your iPod, remember someone wrote those lyrics.  The last time you saw a really good movie try to remember why it was so good.  Was it the special effects?  The beautiful setting?  Or was it the dialogue?  My money is on the dialogue.  Someone wrote those words which came out of that gorgeous actress's mouth.  Probably some balding, pot-bellied writer who knew what words would resonate in the confines of that particular scene.  The same type of guy who who wrote half of Brittany Spears songs.  What, you thought she wrote, "Hit Me Baby One More Time?"  Sorry to ruin it for you.

Any this isn't just restricted to guys.  Some of our best movies are written by women.  At the 2008 Academy Awards, four of the five nominees for original screenplay were women.  Including the winner, Diablo Cody.

So as we sit in front of our keyboards, we imagine our words making an impact on the minds of our readers.  Maybe even sticking there for years.  I'll never forget Raymond Chandler's description of a beautiful blonde lounge singer: "She had a voice like an angel and a body that would make a bishop kick a hole through a stained-glass window." And I read that over 30 years ago.

So what does this mean?  It means even in the digital age, we're swinging for the fences.  As writers, we're searching for that one true story, or that one line which will resonate in the reader's mind for decades.  The bond between writer and reader is stronger than ever and that's why we write.  Because it's our desire to make our mark in the world of fiction.  And if you don't believe me, well, "You can't handle the truth."


  1. I heard Jack Nicholson speaking those last words to Tom Cruise in a court room.

    Great post and so true.

    Words are our paint. Use all the colors...

  2. For me, it's the characters, but since we learn about them through what they say, I'll grant that dialogue is critical. I recall my early writing days when I was toying with Highlander fan fiction, and a reader told me, "Duncan would never say that."

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  3. I agree that as a writer, I am always searching for that connection. I want someone to get it, get me. I want to inspire true feelings and passion with my words. Always a struggle, but I'll keep trying.

  4. Thanks for the input everyone. Yes of course narrative is what drives the story. I guess I was highlighting the significance of the writer in the world of art even beyond books--movies, plays, songs etc... It all starts with the written word.