Re: Creating/Writing novels too?

Subject: Re: Creating/Writing novels too?
From: Matthew Stern <MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 09:00:52 -0700

My US$0.02 into novels and other forms of creative writing:

I've written three screenplays. One of them was even reviewed by an
agent. (It wasn't accepted, but that's the way it goes.) In the process,
I've discovered a few things about creative writing that relate to my
experience as a technical writer:

* Being a technical writer made it much easier for me to accept feedback
and changes to my scripts. I notice how some of the other scriptwriters
I've met treat their work as "their baby" and get defensive the moment
anyone recommends changes. As a technical writer, I'm used to getting
feedback (sometimes, significant last-minute feedback), and it made it
easier for me to accept and incorporate input.

* I've found scriptwriting more frustrating than technical writing,
because the measures of success are so subjective. When I write a
technical manual, it's easy for me to know when I've got it right: the
text is accurate and easy for the user to understant. It's much harder
to determine whether a script works or not. You can have a great plot,
well-developed and interesting characters, and a logical storyline, but
the script still doesn't float someone else's boat. On the other hand,
think of all the muddled, illogical, and generally awful screenplays
that have become top-grossing movies.

I still enjoy scriptwriting and will try it again when I have more time.
I also have some ideas for novels I want to pursue. Creative writing is
at very least a good way to exercise the other side of the brain and a
nice diversion from my technical writing duties.

Matthew Stern
Sr. Technical Writer
Platinum Software Corporation

E-mail mailto:mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com

"The number of practices, disgusting or exciting,
usual or unusual, in which you wish to engage in
private is of no concern to society."
-- Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

The opinions here are solely my own.

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