sig-o-matic I read I realized, "this would make a good .sig..."

...writing is essentially about going into a room by yourself and doing it....and the drive to Big Sur always beckons.

_You must write something else_. Anything else. Epic poems or rhyming couplets, novels or nonfiction, I don't care. But there has to be an outlet where quality matters, where the world is not measured by the drop in box-office receipts in the second weekend in Westwood.

There is one crucial rule that must be followed in all creative meetings: Never speak first. At least at the start, your job is to shut up.

Never enter a creative meeting without a notebook.

To elevate any single element in a film is simply silly and wrong. We all contribute, we are all at each other's mercy.

In narrative writing of any sort, you must eventually seduce your audience. But seduce doesn't mean rape.

Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound. If you're trying a screenplay, you know it's never going to be Bergman. If it's a novel, well, what kind of a novelist can you hope to be when Dostoevski was there before you. And Dickens and Cervantes and all the other masters that let you to the prison of your desk. But if you're a writer, that's what you must do, and in order to accomplish anything at all, at the rock bottom of it all is your confidence.

When I write, I must convince myself that it's going to be wonderful. (There is a character in a great play by Tennessee Williams, _Camino Real_. She's the Gypsy's daughter and she's a whore, but in her heart, each moonrise makes her a virgin.) I'm like that--each moonrise makes me a virgin, too--I'm going to write it and this time, _this time_, it won't be crap. When I don't have that confidence, I'm in big trouble.

I think it's essential to be able to look at what you've done and see mistakes. Especially in a group endeavor like making a movie -- if you don't fix what's wrong, rest assured that someone else will be hired who will.

...when commercial matters dictate a total subversion of the source material, we are in, as the French say, deep shit.

Wrap at line:     40    60    65    80

 Add quotation marks
 Add book title as well as author name


All quotations copyright 1983 by William Goldman. Quotations appear on pages 77, 79, 95, 95, 102, 110, 253-254, 255, 458, and 489 (respectively) of the 1984 paperback edition published by Warner Books.