Learning to be Terser…

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 | Blogging

…in which I talk about my style of writing and share with you the insights of my creative process.

Earlier this week, I posted my personal thoughts on Inglourious Basterds, an article which I greatly anticipated sharing. I was very proud of my process in preparing and writing the review, and was equally proud of the result. One thing I have learned in my writing, is that I frequently surprise myself. When I am writing, the process almost becomes more like reading as the story flows from me of its own accord. This does, however, lead to a lot of unexpected turns and discoveries that then must be focused and refined. As with most writing, it contained more than I had expected, and simultaneously still overlooked key points I intended to cover. The process of writing is a compromise with ones self to share that which needs to be shared without losing your reader, but not sacrificing your voice.

That said, I definitely cut some content that I wanted desperately to share, and left some content in that I wasn’t entirely happy with. To that effect, I thought it would be interesting to share my notes with you. I had not intended to write a review of the movie when I left the house that morning, so I didn’t really come prepared. Admittedly, I have been thinking about writing more movie reviews, and have been doing some research on the process and style, but I really hadn’t expected to do so quite so soon. As I watched the movie, though, those thought process that I’d been reading about started kicking in and I became more than a viewer, but an observer.

Furthermore, as it was a press screening, after the movie was over, I had the opportunity to stand around and talk with a lot of other press and reviewers and was able to voice some of my observations. The more I thought about it and spoke on the subject, the more I realized a review was forming in my head. There were words and phrases coming out of my mouth that I felt deserved being put to print.

IB notesHaving some free time between Inglourious Basterds and my screening of District 9, I decided I needed to start writing stuff down, which was when I realized that I had a pen, but no paper. Fortunately for me, Chase had handed me a copy of Envy magazine earlier, so I flipped through the pages looking for a workable writing space.

Standing in the late afternoon sunshine at Mockingbird Station, I started crafting a movie review. I drew upon my analytical skills developed in my many film appreciation classes. I began formulating, in my head, the dialect that I’d established through critical writing in my graduate art history classes. I had so much to say, so many observations that I wanted to point out to my readers and future viewers of the movie. I rapidly filled the page and considered continuing, but thought it best to restrain myself.

When, two days later, I started writing my notes into a review, I realized that I definitely had more than I should arguably publish. My review was turning into an overgrowing monster. Never-the-less, I cleaned up the key points, reorganized my thoughts to make them more concise, and waited, anxiously, for GatW to post their review first (out of professional respect). That time in waiting did give me the opportunity to have my “editor” go over it and suggest some other changes. The result is what you see posted previously. While I still don’t consider myself a professional writer, I feel like I’m making some bold and confident steps in that direction.

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