The Importance Of Re-objectification In Screenwriting by CSUN Professor Eric Edson
Eric Edson: If you write badly, for instance…I’m trying to think of a good example. How about when I wrote my book, when I had trimmed it down, nice and tight and I thought I really had it ready to go. I had 120,000 or 130,000 words in the manuscript. And I called them up and said “Okay, I’m ready to go. I’ve done my cutting and…here it is! 130,000 words” and he laughed (the publisher laughed) and said “No Eric. We don’t publish anything over 70,000 words” and it was like this bolt of horror that hit me. And I said “Wait a minute! Are you actually telling me that I have to cut my book in half?” And he said “Yeah…actually…I’m afraid I am.”
“Writing is word choices”
So for 3 or 4 days I was just practically in a coma but…any writer…you’re appalled by the way and what they make you do to your babies. And then I got some help. I had somebody else, a dear, dear friend who was good with editing take a look at it. And I seriously cut into it one more time for editing. I got it down to 82,000 words. Not quite their 70,000. But I cut out by 40–45% of the book that I thought was absolutely necessary, it was gone and the book was better for it. It was such a better book. It was clearer and it was cleaner. And there were so many swamps removed from it. It was an interesting experience. But I did not realize then…you have to re-objectify and I didn’t realize yet how much work there was yet to be done.
So writing is word choices and a process of re-objectification that is something critical, too. Which means writers never write alone. Never. But we spend a lot of time alone in the writing process. Once we have something, then we have to (and this is important, and this is important to new writers everywhere), you have to have a circle of new people whose opinion of material you trust. It’s one of the things that happened…(Watch the video on Youtube here).
BUY THE BOOK — THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take
MORE VIDEOS WITH ERIC EDSON
About Professor Eric Edson:
Eric Edson has written seventeen feature screenplays on assignment. His produced script credits include PASSION’S WEB for Showtime, and he co-wrote and co-executive produced the NBC Movie of the Week LETHAL VOWS starring John Ritter and Marg Helgenberger. Other films include THE ROSE AND THE JACKAL starring Christopher Reeve, THE SOGGY BOTTOM GANG starring Don Johnson, and DIVING IN starring Kristy Swanson. Eric has also written for episodic television.
Professor Edson’s new book “THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take,” published by Michael Wiese Productions, uncovers for the first time the 23 Hero Goal Sequences® used in every successful motion picture to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes and link together all plot development from first page to last (Read more here).