I am surrounded by writers. Joe at work and my husband, Darren, at home. Joe started writing this week on a screenplay using characters from a TV show, and I am impressed by the work he has done on it so far. When he is done, he might find a market for it or he will use the momentum to do another project that will sell.
Darren is taking Joe’s play, Kimberly, and adapting it into a novel. Every three weeks or so the two get together to compare notes and answer each other’s questions about the project. I am so proud and impressed with Darren’s progress and the direction he is taking the characters.
I edit for Joe and Darren runs some of his scenes by me, so I have a lot of opportunity to comment. Sometimes, when one of them is stuck at a point, my ideas can help with the writing process. Sometimes, when what I say undermines the writer’s confidence or idea, what I say can hurt the project and the writer. From bad experiences, I began to view new writing (when it is in the planning and first draft phases) like a tender new plant sprout, and I need to be careful not to trample it with the heavy boots of doubt or saying the idea would never work that way. I have trampled before and it stopped the project cold. I am tip-toeing around now, careful of the new ideas. Because I also know that an idea that might not sound like it will work at the beginning, might be a brilliant idea once it is fleshed out and in finished form; I learned from experience to be more patient. Both Joe and Darren have writing talent, and I know they will both produce good writing pieces when they get all the way to the end.
I read a lot of books, at least one a week, and have done so for most of my life. It is easy for me to have opinions about what makes a good read and therefore good writing, but the truth is I have not written anything of my own in a decade. Joe and Darren are putting their bodies in chairs and putting words on paper, day after day. When they have finished the first drafts, my editing work will begin. I admire them, and I am honored to be a part of their team.
As Joe would say, take care, keep warm, and happy reading.