Thursday, May 10, 2007

Partners in crime and punishment

Writing Partner is clever. He threw my belief system back at me.

This week I finished the next chapter of our movie in chapters project and told him I wanted to send it to him to read. But he said he wants to wait until we're both done with all our pages before he reads anything, which I find kind of odd wince we're supposed to be writing together.

But whatever. We're both trying this calm acceptance and respect of each other's opinions so Emily doesn't hang up on anybody method. But I write fast and he's going to take forever, so instead of twiddling my thumbs I told him I'd like to go ahead and workshop the pages with Lead Actor.

Okay maybe I'm a little impatient. But I hate to see my material sit around and wait on people while I could be improving it.

Then Partner lets it slip that he's not really writing in chapters. His characters are just doing one long story.


I'm not sure what to say since the coolest part about this was the film in chapters part. I mean, I haven't even given it a name. I just keep calling it "film in chapters." If it's not a film in chapters it suddenly becomes a less interesting story. The twists are gone. The idea of looking at our lives from someone else's perspective is gone. The concept of being a minor player in someone else's story is gone. Our theme turns to mush.

Not that it's not still a good story. But it becomes kind of an ordinary story when you take out the cool format. Like Memento. Without the backwards motion it's not nearly as good a story. Because it's not just what you tell, it's how you tell it.

So I tell Partner, what about when I said this was a film in chapters and you said okay?

He said, well, I told you that and then figured I'd write it my way and we can always change it later.

And I said, so you paid me lip service and ignored what I said?

And he said, no, I wanted to do a vomit draft like you always talk about. Get it down on paper, change it later.

Damn him. Who knew he was listening?

This is how it works: I'm supposed to do a vomit draft. He's supposed to do what I tell him.


So Emily is learning to give up a little control and trust in Partner. We kind of compromised on the phone and he agreed to shift some of his events around to accommodate the chapter format. And I agreed to wait and see what he writes before demanding that he change it. And he agreed to read the chapter I wrote so he can get a better idea of what I'm looking for. He seems to like me taking the helm on the ideas, which sits just fine with me since I like to be in charge. Somebody's got to.

Once again, we didn't yell at each other. Apparently my baby's all growds up.


  1. Doesn't sound like you should have a writing partner.

    You can ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS bounce ideas off friends. Work out story problems with friends. That doesn't necessarily make them collaborators.

    There's a quote somewhere from Ted Eliot. When asked about his partnership with Terry Rosio, he replied, "I think both of us thought we were getting the better end of the deal."

  2. Oh heavens no. I'm hard on Partner but in the end my writing is definitely better with his collaboration.

    Perhaps I should be nicer when I talk about him.

  3. Partner doesn't respect you as a woman.

    I would.

    I would never lie to you and say I was writing in Chapters when I wasn't.

    He does.

    Your needs as a woman are not being met by Current Writing Partner.

    Think about it.


  4. Come on Crash. Emily is much smarter than that. She's not going to fall for your blatant manipulation and grass is greener scenarios. You've had a partner for all of a week or two and you're already trying to cheat!

    Commitment issues. ... Definitely :)

    Don't trust him Em. If he'll cheat on Partner 1, what can you expect in your future.


  5. You have it all wrong, H Factor.

    I'm not looking to ditch Current Writing Partner. I love Current Writing Partner.

    I'm just telling Emily - if she were interested - she could become Mistress Writing Partner.

    Mistress Writing Partner.

    Has a nice ring to it, right?

  6. Crash ...

    How could I be so foolish as to think you wouldn't want something on the side!

    By all means Emily, look him up. It has a very French feel to it all. And, you know how interesting French films are.

    Sorry for my ignorance.

  7. Do I have a say in any of this?

    I feel so used....

  8. Um ... we're trying to have a conversation here.


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