Do These Signs Match Your Habits?
- Someone tells a tragic family story that has taken them years to open up about and you unwittingly shout “DIBS ON THAT” the second you hear a breath being taken in case any other sympathetic ear in the room was thinking the same thing. You. Now. Own. The. Tragedy. Yay you: the Writer!
- You have twenty notebooks or Word Documents just filled with sentences that mean absolutely nothing taken out of context. Examples are things such as “Caught penis in mini-slinky” “Irony. She forgot the word dementia”, or “urine in swimming pools – 3 to 20 teaspoons per person. Could be funny”.
- You watch every movie on the basis of Could Have Written Myself, Would Like to Have Written, Could Have Written Better But Never Got The Meetings,, Would Never Want to Be Involved With So Don’t Even Talk To Me About This, Hate Everyone Involved With This But Begrudgingly Concede They Did a Good Job, Hate Everything About This Movie and The Entire Industry Should Halt This Cr*p and Call Me.
- When a box instructs you put your profession down on a form, you know you want to put Writer but don’t have an answer to the question, “Have you written anything I’ve seen/read?” “Maybe” you would want reply confidently yet slightly enigmatically, whilst knowing full well that the asker can’t possibly have seen or read anything whatsoever that you’ve written because you’re still valiantly unpublished and unproduced and wondering whether you are still legally allowed to insert the word ‘Writer’ in that magic box.
- Your next question to this person would very much like to be, “But can you…read something I’ve written? Here. I happen to have a print out of my 473 page take on the Mr Men meets Armageddon”
- Someone you thought you previously liked hates a film that you dearly love and, whilst your very being wants to scream vile and unprintable insults about their mother and her bedroom habits at them, instead you resort to just looking very, very sad and sorry for them because, well…how could they know any different, the poor, blind, unknowing fools? They are not A Chosen One.
- You have an ironic t-shirt that says something like “I want to F. Scott Fitzgerald” or “Be Careful Or You’ll End Up In My Next Novel” which you like to ‘forget you were even wearing’ when someone asks if you’re a writer. Sometimes, I have actually forgotten to put on a t-shirt altogether but that’s for another list entirely.
- Even dropping a ceramic bowl you shouldn’t have in the shower in the first place, causing it to shatter on the back of your bath and slice clean through your Achilles tendon, leading to an alarmingly painful operation and 16 full weeks in a plaster cast, isn’t that bad when you see people’s faces as you tell the story (this particular one may be specific to me. Insert own ridiculously unlikely, horribly inconvenient, and generally life-altering-in-a bad-way mishap, and try to see the good in it for ‘story purposes’. You’re a writer! It’s all material)
- You want to punch people who say ‘negation of the negation’, ‘inciting incident’ ‘mise-en-scene’ or ‘deus-ex-machina’ in general conversation but, on that same token, are forced to concede that they did use it correctly and there really weren’t that many better to ways to express the point.
- People phone you up and ask you what words mean, what the film that Gene Hackman was in where he had hair, or if ‘banana is a palindrome’ (yes, really, this did happen) and even though you are just using i-dictionary or Google or the imdb, in exactly the same fashion as they themselves could have done, you are just happy to help. Because you, my friend, are a writer, and that is your job.
Tamzin Rafn is a screenwriter and former Development Executive, represented by Casarotto Ramsay in the UK and WME in LA. She wrote ALBATROSS, worked in the main vein of script development in the UK, and gets unlucky quite often with London’s winged rats doing their business on her head. No she will not read your fu*king script, Industrial Scripts do that and do it well thanking ye kindly. You can follow Tamzin on Twitter, check out her IMDb profile, read more of her scribblings and tell her where to go in the comments box below…
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