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"Don’t get boggled down"

This post really has nothing to do with the malapropism I quoted in the title (you’ll see it again in the quoted text below), but I couldn’t think of a more interesting headline, so there you have it.

Today I wanted to highlight what Zach Braff said yesterday about writing:

So many of you ask me about writing, just skim through the comments and you’ll see thousands of stories to write about. All I did was sit down and write about what I was feeling in my own life. What bothers you, what makes you laugh, what do you obsess about, what makes your stomach turn, what do you lust over? – just sit down and write about those things. That’s what’s universally interesting; those are the kinds of movies I like to go see: regular people in real life situations, dealing with emotions and worries I can relate to. Also, think about starting very simply; don’t overwhelm yourself trying to think about the whole movie; write a scene between two people, then write what happens after that, then what happens after that. Don’t get boggled down worrying about outlines and rules, just tell a bunch of stories that happen to the same group of people. And try (for lack of a better expression) keeping it real. There’s a saying I really like to think about when I’m writing: “Don’t do that, they do that in movies.” Anytime I find myself writing something that feels nowhere close to reality, I try to stop and reign it back to what’s true for me. Blah, blah, blah. I just wanted to offer up a couple of thoughts since so many have you have asked about it.

But take it for what it’s worth. This is coming from a guy who got rejected from USC, UCLA and got C’s in screenwriting at Northwestern.

Even though I was obsessed with getting good grades in college, I have an enormous amount of respect for people who didn’t (like, you know, Einstein). Somehow I feel like they know something I don’t. I mean, I’m talented, and teachers generally liked me, but I was also very lazy. That people who weren’t lazy couldn’t manage to get the grades I did says something to me, like “Grades are absolutely meaningless”.

But I digress yet again…the point was, Zach Braff has some good tips for writers. :>