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More important: My last word on America's longest bad acid trip: Votevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevotevote.
That was my last word on the subject. And now: There has never been an accurate depiction of writing in movies or on television. I understand why that is true: Watching someone write is almost as much fun as watching the blank screen but offers less hope for improvement. Even people who write in teams like collaborators or television writing rooms are given to long, quiet, inert phases where nothing is happening. The most you can expect in terms of visual excitement is the writer pacing. The largest sign of progress is... typing.
So it makes sense that no film or television program has ever successfully made drama out of writing. Writers in movies and TV tend to be doing something other than writing when we see them. They are solving crimes (Castle), solving even more crimes (Murder, She Wrote), solving crimes based on their work (The Raven), or searching for inspiration while probably falling in love (all other movies with writers in them).
What's interesting about the depictions in popular entertainment is how much the stories get wrong, given that they were all written by, I'm gonna say writers. Assigned with the impossible task of making the routine of someone like me interesting, most writers punt. They fall back on the popular tropes that have worked before and don't try for a new approach. I understand that impulse too, given the high level of difficulty involved. I wouldn't want to have to write an accurate but engrossing portrait of a writer at work.
On the other hand, even writing a character who happens to be an author and, yes, is helping to solve crimes in the Mysterious Detective Mystery series, I have attempted to provide at least a little realism in the depiction. Rachel Goldman is a mid-list mystery author who just grinds it out. She writes 1,000 words a day (stop me if this sounds familiar) no matter what. She hates revisions. She watches the success of other writers and doesn't so much envy it as wonder why she isn't doing as well.
Rachel is constantly noticing things she might be able to use in a future book, and is always slightly disappointed in the way her work turns out. It's never quite what she envisioned, but she doesn't have time for that because she has to get another 1,000 words together for today.
She deals with the publishing business' foibles as many of us do: Rachel mostly ignores the industry and relies on her agent and her editor for information. She knows some booksellers but not enough. She has an assistant (which most of us definitely don't, but I wanted Rachel to have someone to ask for research and to talk to, so her assistant works only twice a week). She deals with her small group of fans gratefully but with some astonishment, wondering why they might be so devoted to her creation.
The whole thing about her character leaping off the page and showing up at her door is another story entirely.
Personally, I'm not looking for the accurate portrait of a working writer in popular entertainment because I sincerely believe it would be too dull to provide much amusement. But if anyone in the business would like to discuss putting Rachel up on the screen, they will find no resistance from me.
Bring it on, Hollywood.
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