In honor of our Black Friday sale, we’re featuring Shane Black this week for our Weekly Writing Wisdom. These thoughts are from his Closing Remarks at the 2016 Conference:
Take from this volatile and bizarre political environment a thread that you care about. Find something that outrages you and use it.
Larry King once was asked: ‘What’s the criteria for a good talk show guest? What’s the best guest to have and what characteristics do they tend to have in common?’ And what he said was: ‘Well, you want someone who is very good at what they do: who has an encyclopedic and sort of intuitive knowledge of their craft. You also want someone who is very good at explicating that; who can communicate effectively in layman’s terms what it is that they do and how they do it. You want someone with a little touch… of outrage. They’re outraged about something. And fourth, you want someone who can laugh at themselves.’
And it struck me that those are essentially, really, the qualities that you also want in a good screenwriter. You want someone who is good at their craft, who is able to talk about, who is able to explicate and in meetings effectively communicate their passion for what they do, but you also want someone with a little touch of anger. And you want someone who can laugh at themselves and not be taken by that anger to a place where they can’t return.
We at AFF wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and a week of inspired writing.