I think it was a combination of the golden globes airing this week along with a lot of junk mail about copywriters. Between the two, I began wondering about the different types of writers out there. I once held a presentation on career day at a local high school. They labeled it “writer.” I know what the admin was thinking. Those interested in writing equals novels. I found myself in a room full of poets, novelists, screenwriters, and journalists. And that’s only a few of the categories. Many outside the field think if someone is good in one area, they are good in them all. While pursuing choices for a degree, many told me I should become a journalist. I still remember the looks I’d receive when I proclaimed it was not the same thing. I had some experience. As a teen, I used to write articles for middle school sports. I remember my supervisor telling me the key was to leave out all the “fluff.” People just want to know what happened and who did what. Give them the facts, and make sure to put the important pieces in the front. This is so different than writing novels. I mean, could you imagine a murder mystery if the author gives the killer up in the main page? Not to mention, leaving out the “fluff” is frowned upon. I think there are awesome journalists with the gift of capturing a true story without the fluff. But I don’t know if they could write a good novel…and vice-versa.
I began thinking about the writers of television shows. We honor the actors and think of how wonderful they are because they are in front of us weekly. Yet, they would have nothing to act out if it weren’t for the people who write the shows. The writers have to produce a script every week; an hour show is half a movie…every week. And the stories have to be captivating and different every week. They have to move a plot that never ends while giving the illusion that the story is evolving. This would be hard, I think. Plus, how do they not lose interest? I finish a novel in about four months and I am bored of it by the end. I crave a new plot and new characters. Even in my Atlantis series, I am looking for something different. How can I avoid writing the same plot again? What is something new I can bring? I imagine the life of a TV writer is demanding. No wonder they have teams of writers for every show.
I’m glad writers get a short moment of glory at the award shows…even if their acceptance speech is often skipped over (by myself included). I am glad we acknowledge the craft. Because, a “writer” is not one generic person. It is a rainbow of talented people set with the same love…to entertain their followers. I just wish they got interviewed more. Maybe that’s just me….