September 13, 2009

Huge post from someone else

This is supposed to be part of a post on Henry Miller, but it can come in two or three parts.

Terry Rossio wrote a lot of successful movies, and this is a piece he wrote called Throw in the Towel, at a blog I can no longer access [maybe you can, but in Taiwan, from this machine, no]. It starts like this:

You don’t get to hear the truth much in this town, so listen up. I’m gonna back up the truck and unload. Harsh truths, right here, right now. And we’re gonna start with the most brutal: You people really aren’t much good at writing screenplays.

In fact, your writing pretty much sucks.

I tried to be different. I tried to leave the door cracked open a bit. I politely asked you to send me only good stuff, your best stuff. And for years now I’ve been deluged by a storm of crappy query letters and mind-numbing script submissions. So many I can’t keep up, can’t even respond to them all. And not one of them has been any damn good.
Now I’m about ready to slam the door shut, and lock it down like how they do in cartoons, with a whole series of barricades and bolts and latches and such.

It’s disappointing. Especially after offering all this advice and encouragement. But man, I’m tired. Tired of being informative and helpful and optimistic. Tired of wasting my time answering your pedestrian-at-best e-mails and faxes and message board questions.

Tired of inventing nice ways to avoid telling you all that your writing sucks.
Hollywood, it is said, is the only place where you can die of encouragement.
Well, not here. Not anymore.

Your writing sucks.

You simply cannot write to a professional level. And you probably never will. It’s a safe bet to say that none of you will ever make a sale, anywhere, anytime; to think otherwise is just deluding yourselves. It’s a waste of your time, and that pains me, and it’s a waste of my time, and that pains me more.

Got it?

Oh, of course not. I knew you wouldn’t. I know you people all too well.
It's 5,500 words long, and it doesn't seem to be available elsewhere, so I've uploaded a WORD file to Google Docs, here.

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