A few years back while working on a documentary for the International Storytelling Center, I came to thoroughly understand the old Native American poverb… ‘it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story’…

And after a recent viewing of the documentary TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, I was once again reminded of this. Before you novel writers say ‘ugh, another post on screenplays’, please read on because we are all storytellers struggling to get our voices heard even those of us that have had previous success.

I urge all of you storytellers to watch this, you can stream it from netflix as I did or pick up the disc as I will no doubt purchase.  Though obviously focused on the task of being a screenwriter – the heartache, rejection and revision is the same for us all.  And Please watch to the very end, I guarantee you will never question why you write again.

The main takeaway from the front lines of storytelling is – accept that your work will be handled and re-told in various forms, no matter how ‘perfect’ your manuscript.  I will go as far to say that the better your work the more it will be torn apart and cobbled back in some other form that you have no say in.  This is a ‘tale as old as time’… take for instance those famous fairytale writing brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm; two of the most re-tooled tales are Cinderella and Rapunzel (yet another retelling of this is due out this fall by the same studio that changed the way children understand the former Cinderella).  Aschenputtel is the name of the original Cinderella writing (a true horror story even by today’s gruesome standard) and Rapunzel’s authentic writing reveals her very dark secret.  Does the fact that these original writings have been edited and watered down make newer versions horrible and not worth the paper they’re written on?  I suppose that’s debatable but in the whole each version brings something different to the table and if the Grimm brothers were still collecting royalties, well — I doubt they’d be grim.

It’s like my all-time hero Ben Franklin said…

‘either do things worth writing or write things worth reading’…

stay tooned…

Plot is coming soon I promise, just been a little buried in screenplay submissions.

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