Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Writing About Writing

The other night I watched an episode of Frasier where Frasier and his brother Niles try to write a book together.  It was frustrating yet amusing at the same time.  I'm not trying to publish non-fiction but I've read enough to know that the situation was unrealistic (shocker, I know).  It made me think back to Steve Martin's remake of Cheaper by the Dozen.  It's been a long time since I've seen it (I prefer the original movie, and the book is hilarious) so correct me if I'm wrong but in the movie doesn't she just write it up, send if off, get published then go on this huge book tour ending up in an interview with Oprah, who was coming to their house?  How often does that happen? There's also The Shining, which I REALLY hope isn't an accurate portrayal of a writer.  

I'm sure the process is abbreviated or altered for different reasons, one to fit in the time constraints, or for comedic purposes like the Frasier episode.  And really who wants to watch a movie about the But In Chair method of writing anyway?  The only portrayal of writing I could come up with that seems realistic, if atypical, was in the book I Capture the Castle.  A book I love.

Can you think of any portrayals of writing in film or book?  Are they realistic or hilariously off track?

20 comments:

  1. How about Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give? She did a good job, typing away, frustrated, relieved, yelling, yessing, you get the picture. Definitely a writer movie worth watching.

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    1. I havne't seen that! Good to know there are good portrayals.

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  2. Good question. At least on the TV show CASTLE, they show Rick Castle typing and planning his plots. Though most of the show is about his work with the police department.

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    1. Haven't seen it. Sounds like he's a typical writer. Trying to fit it in around a day job and life.

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  3. I can't think of any examples, other than those you pointed out. But I think everyone (who doesn't write) has an unrealistic expectation on how it works to get published. I think my family secretly thinks I'm a loser because I have been at it for 3 years and haven't got anything published yet.

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    1. Very true. And they really don't have a clue that after a publishing contract you may still have to wait a year or two before it's in stores.

      Three years really isn't long in this journey. That's how long I've been working just on this WIP.

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  4. I can't think of any realistic examples, but I know I've seen plenty of roll-the-eye ways writers are portrayed.
    When I first started writing, my husband asked if I could be done in a week. I may have rolled my eyes to that too.

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  5. Great post! I too pay attention to how writers/writing is depicted in the movies, on TV. On my blog, I did a post last year about how contestants on The Celebrity Apprentice were tasked to write and publish a children's book in just several days...only on reality TV!

    For A to Z in April, I will be posting about an episode in Family Guy where one of the characters writes a book.

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    1. Ah, the reality of reality TV. Actually, with self publishing that's possible, though definitely not advisable.

      Can't wait to see the A-Z!

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  6. You don't think all writers don't end up like Jack Nicholson?? lol.

    Chevy Chase played a writer in that one movie, which was hilarious.

    Johnny Depp did in that Stephen King movie.

    Wow. . . I'm realizing that ALL of these people turned into total psychos, lol . . . hmm . . .

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    1. Looks like our fate is sealed! I'll start padding a room now.

      I haven't seen either of those movies. Maybe my problem is I just don't watch enough TV.

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  7. Nim's Island is the only movie I can think of right now. In that movie, the writer was too paranoid to ever leave the house. Of course, writers can't do that today. We have to put our faces all over the place. :)

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    1. Writer's do have to be accessible now a days, have platforms and social media. It's actually kind of scary. All I wanted to do was write.

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  8. Oh my goodness The Shining. *Shudders*

    NO. I am definitely not like that :D

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    1. Good to know! I'm not either. But if I post a blog that only says "All work and no play makes Sara a dull girl" You'll know to send help.

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  9. I can't think of a specific example but any movie where someone decides to write a book, sends it off and receives instant success gets up my nose! Especially as it gives the impression that's how it normally works.

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    1. It's probably the reason we get asked so many "you're still working on that?".

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  10. Love Frasier! And I have I Capture the Castle, but haven't read it yet, maybe I'll move it up the pile...
    It's books/movies like that that make your family say things like: "romance novels are so formulaic! Why don't you just write a few, sell them, and start making money that way?"
    GRRR.......

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    1. I love Capture the Castle but it didn't float my hubby's boat. He thought it "meh"

      I've had people say that!! Grrr, is right!

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  11. I can't say that I do, but I did watch Midnight in Paris recently and that was a very pleasant surprise. Not just about writing, but learning to be satisfied with what you have. :)

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