Another week, another assignment for The Future Of Storytelling course i talked about here.
This time they asked us to talk about 2-3 books, movies or other stuff that struck us with inspiration and maybe planted some seeds in making us want to be a writer. We had to make a video about it but for now I have no access to a camera, so I just wrote it. If I can get my hands on some device I’ll make the video in the future. Meanwhile you cane read the assignment below. Hope you find it interesting.
HELLO! I am Davide, from Italy.
This are my 3 choices about books and stuff that I find really interesting on telling stories.
FIRST DRAFT IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Rewrites, the autobiography by Neil Simon, one of the most successful playwright ever.
Maybe you are asking yourself “Well, pal, I am no playwright, so…?”. So, my fellow enthusiast about storytelling I can assure that you can find a lot of insight on how to tell a story besides the genre and the medium of your personal choice. Simon knows how to pass his knowledge not in a how-to-istic or academic way, but narrating his life, his body of works and what the life of a storyteller looks and feels like. A lot of anecdotes about the craft but a lot of little gems about his personal life and family business, too. You want to read about a man that rewrote at least 20 times a single play, from scratch to finished? That’s your book. He made me smile, laugh and gave me a little water in the eyes here and there.
Sorry for the horrible pun. The second book I press you to read is the autobiography by Gene Wilder, Kiss me like a stranger.
“But, my handsome compadre in the field of making up stories, his an actor, so…?” So yes, indeed he is. But is also a fine storyteller. I mean, he created Young Frankenstein, and had an heavy hand in modeling the film version of Willy Wonka, putting on the screen one of the best character ever. And you can discover a lot about his storyteller side in this brief book, with a lot more about his personal life. Again its a wonderful blending of laugh, tears and interesting little sparks of inspiration about the art of storytelling and the life of someone who choose to tell stories for a living. You can find why improvisation is useful but it’s not what a lot people think it is. Or why and how you should watch and disassemble a movie if you want to direct or write one. And how a writer can find something funny in the cancer that is devouring his deeply loved wife. So if you like the man, you’ll love the book. And if you don’t like him I think you should give the book a shot anyway, maybe you can find something worth your time.
AND NOW LET’S MAKE IT FUNNY
The third choice is, for me, a recent one but it struck a couple of deep chords in me. It’s a 50ish minutes conversation called Talking Funny, a tv special made by HBO in which four comedian talk, well, about comedy. Louis CK, Jerry Seinfield, Chris Tucker and Ricky Gervais learn about each others skills and skits in a fun and relaxed way. If you like comedy, if you want to write or perform comedy, i’m sure you’ll find something you can use or just enjoy.
“Yeah, ol’ chap but me I’m about drama and pulp and drama-pulp-dragons, so…?” Well i can see your concern but I think some of the points raised in this piece are helpful for every genre and every kind of writer. This poker of comedians ponder about things like the right timing or the right beat in a sentence. And why a certain word works better than other? There are some argument, motif or topic that we, as writers, cannot use in our works? And what is the most grueling fear a comedian must conquer? Sure, the point of view is the comedy one, but this and others are all ideas worth thinking about besides genre, I think. And you can watch it on Youtube, right here:
AND THAT’S ALL!
I hope you’ll find this informative and that you’ll give this 3 pieces of inspiration a try. Bye!