Taking a break from blogging, Twitter, and Facebook for awhile. Not sure when I'll return. I leave you with this, some of my notes from Robert McKee's Story, the screenwriter's Bible that applies to anyone just trying to tell good stories. (If you haven't read it and you want to make it as a writer, quit everything and go buy it now.) Disclaimer: The words are McKee's, the emphasis mine.
It's perhaps the most true and meaningful passage in all the book. It applies to screenwriters and other writers, yes. But look at it just right, replace a few words with a few other words, and it applies to all of us and all our lives.
“You must bring to the work a vision that’s driven by fresh insights into human nature and society, coupled with in-depth knowledge of your characters and your world. All that and … a lot of love.
“The love of story—the belief that your vision can be expressed only through story, that characters can be more ‘real’ than people, that the fictional world is more profound than the concrete. The love of the dramatic—a fascination with the sudden surprises and revelations that bring sea-changes in life. The love of truth—the belief that lies cripple the artist, that every truth in life must be questioned, down to one’s own secret motives. The love of humanity—a willingness to empathize with suffering souls, to crawl inside their skins and see the world through their eyes. The love of sensation—the desire to indulge not only the physical but the inner senses. The love of dreaming—the pleaure in taking leisurely rides on your imagination just to see where it leads. The love of humor—a joy in the saving grace that restores the balance of life. The love of language—the delight in sound and sense, syntax and semantic. The love of duality—a feel for life’s hidden contradictions, a healthy suspicion that things are not what they seem. The love of perfection—the passion to write and rewrite in pursuit of the perfect moment. The love of uniqueness—the thrill of audacity and a stone-faced calm when it is met by ridicule. The love of beauty—an innate sense that treasures good writing, hates bad writing, and knows the difference.
“But the love of good story, of terrific characters and a world driven by your passion, courage, and creative gifts is still not enough. Your goal must be a good story well told.”