Live, Love and Write – Happy New Year

fireworks_etbscreenwritingI can think of no better way to start off 2009 than with love. Love is what powers us along our journey as writers and storytellers– love of craft, love of our characters and love of our calling.

As we look forward to the tremendous shifts and changes this coming year will bring in technology, finance, entertainment and politics let us fully and completely embrace the indomitable and unconquerable force of love in our work.

In my rambles on the web this holiday season, I found the following list of the ways we can and must love as writers and storytellers. I wanted to share it with you. Tack this list up over your computer. May you tell your stories with love this year and write your best self in 2009!

Practice these 11 principles:

l) Love of telling a 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.

2) Love of the dramatic– a fascination with the sudden surprises and revelations that bring sea-changes in life.

3) 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 ability to see and exorcise your own shit and to bring it up courageously and mercilessly.

4) Love of humanity–a willingness to empathize with suffering souls, to crawl inside their skins, and see the world through their eyes.

5) Love of sensation– the desire to indulge in and bring to life the pleasures of the five senses.

6) Love of humor–even the most sober domestic dramas need that light touch, the twist of irony, the bite of satire, or the warm, gentle mirth that makes the most mundane scene glow.

7) Love of language–a delight in sound and sense, syntax and semantics.

8) Love of process–a joy in the journey of the story and the solitude of writing.

9) Love of uniqueness–the thrill of audacity and a stone-faced calm when it is met by ridicule.

10) Love of beauty–the courage and skill to develop your own style.

11) Love of duality, conflict, argumentation and the energy to orchestrate scene dynamics.

Unlike the stories of personal essays, memoirs and autobiographical novels, a screenplay must use and transcend or deepen self into the collective unconscious to create a story with universal appeal. Each person has a life story with endless encyclopedic variations. The mark of a master is to select only a few moments but give us a lifetime.

Excerpted from Julia Keefer’s essay

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