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Software For Hardheads

Since I have written professionally (and I'm always looking to do that again), and my name and email are actually out there, it's only natural that companies that want to sell me software to help me craft some story or screenplay are sending me messages, hoping I'll buy their products.

I got one notice today and it reads as follows:

"Inept Writer's Software Program" (my way of preventing a free plug for these doofs) is a step-by-step writing system designed for the aspiring writer. As your creative writing partner, "Inept Writer's Software Program" takes you to a special place, a story development environment where together you’ll solve the plot and character problems that prevent many stories from becoming great enough to sell.

You’ll cast and build your characters, plot out your story, layer in themes with universal meaning, and put it all together into scenes to form a solid step outline. And as your mentor, the "Inept Writer's Software Program" will do something no other writing program can do - it predicts parts of your story based on creative decisions you make!

Knowledge is power and "Inept Writer's Software Program" inspires you with ideas to develop your story and make it even tighter - with no plot holes or character inconsistencies.

I think if there's truth in advertising, I just came up with a million dollar title for their CD-ROM.

But back to the point. I want to say I'm astounded and horrified at this, but sadly I am not. Now, not only don't you have to be a professional writer to be a writer... now you don't even need to be able to write! Just type in a few ideas you had, and let some software program spit your script back to you, in format, no less!

Of course, here's the problem with that... if a bunch of people do this, using that program, we can presume that bunch of people are going to get, if not identical scripts, certainly similar ones! So the race is to the Copyright Office, where the person with the earliest date on their form wins the chance to sue all other "writers" for "plagiarism."

Hollywood encourages laziness in writers. They don't want "different." They want "commercial." And here's the response: paint by numbers stories with two-dimensional characters. It's about the special effects anyway, isn't it? Every movie has to be in 3D, and who cares about "story?"

Seeing this, reading the stories of the projects that are getting made, it all serves to be extremely discouraging to me because none of it is anything I would be interested in seeing... well, not "none" of it, but the vast majority of it is just junk food for the mind. It doesn't look like there's any space available for the things I want to see.

But maybe that means there is? Maybe I am the hardhead.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)

There has not been one movie in theaters I've wanted to see in the past year except for Avatar (the idea for which was hatched many years ago, but they had to wait for effects to catch up) and (predictably) Harry Potter.

: (

ETA: Holy crap! Avatar was actually released more than a year ago. Time, it does fly.

Also The Last Airbender and the latest Narnia film were not bad. But that's still not many quality films in the last 1-2 years.

Edited at 2011-03-25 09:11 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, Avatar was so 2009!

But even the films you're naming are all heavily loaded with special effects, etc. So, maybe I AM barking up the wrong tree!
Mar. 27th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
What do you mean by "barking up the wrong tree?" Are you saying that instead of trying to adapt to what is wanted, you want to create something better, because that is what is needed? Not quite sure what you're saying here.
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
No, I just meant that the films I was looking to make would be something not that focused on fx... so maybe I'm the one who really is out of step with what people want to see.
Mar. 29th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
In most cases I'd rather see your films.

As for the 4 I mentioned above, none of them would probably have worked without the special effects, but that's not why I liked them. I liked them because they had a real message and because they were GOOD (story-wise, acting-wise, the writing and all that).

So really all I want is a film with substance. I guess I'm not the majority, but when you're making the guest list for your first film premier, sign me up.

P.S. The world needs more writers like YOU. Practicality aside, I'm sure you know that's real important.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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