I thought about blogging about screenwriting long before I actually started doing it. I just ran across an early version of this blog that has five posts of wildly varying quality.
This one always amused me. It’s a metaphor about rewriting, using a classic scene from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure as a metaphor. It’s the one where they need keys, so they promise themselves to go forward in a time machine at some later date to steal the keys they need, then magically find the keys.
Capsule summary: Stories are about cause and effect. You are selling people a guided tour of a magical alternate reality where things make sense and effort is rewarded. Everything in story has to make sense (see links). It there are no links, I haven’t written that bit yet). A good story is a marvel of cause and effect. Everything you set up must pay off, if a gun goes off in the third act, it must be shown in the first and loaded in the second. The reading process is incredibly linear, if the story loses a sense of cause and effect, you lose the reader’s attention. Fortunately, we have our own Bill and Ted time machine. It’s called the rewrite process.
My early work has always embarrassed me, but I leave it alone because it reminds me of who I used to be. If there’s any greater lesson to this, it’s don’t be afraid to try and fail, be open to getting better, and don’t wait years to start getting better at writing, get better now.