"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: Responsibility in Writing

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Responsibility in Writing

Dear Fellow Writer,

Just spent the week filming my new short movie: First Cut.

It was fascinating to see the script become real. The actors - Cherie and Adrian - actually became the characters in the story: they spoke the parts and moved - and bled profusely! - around the house (which doubled as our set!) and we all had a blast as we cobbled my horror story together in over 300 individual scenes into what will hopefully become a fabulous piece of (albeit short!) gritty cinema.

Now it's all down to editing the thing together - which might take a while - as these things do.

If you want to see what happens when a piece of writing actually gets filmed, then I can't recommend making movies highly enough.

Keep writing!


NB: Apologies to everyone who sent me emails with questions that I haven't been able to answer recently. It's been a busy week!


Responsibility in Writing 

Rob Parnell

Curiously, a few published writers tell me that I'm far too honest about being a scribe - sharing the realities of maintaining a living as a working writer and revealing some of the tips and tactics you can use to make make writing anything - fiction, non fiction, ebooks etc - a whole lot easier.
Almost as if there was something wrong with honesty, like I'm betraying some sort of unwritten 'code' amongst published authors!
Once upon a time I used to marvel at the way some published authors behaved as though they were privy to some 'secret' that the newbie wasn't allowed to know.

At local writers groups I noticed too that published authors tended to band together and would actively avoid talking to those not in their clique - the unpublished in other words.
A long time ago I vowed never to be like that. 
I've always thought that writers, whatever their status or fortunes, should stick together and more especially, help each other toward success - whatever that means to you.
I apologize now if I offend anyone by trying to do that!
It's often said that writers write to find out what they think about things. 
To create some sort of order out of chaos. 
To clarify their views on life, morals, emotional pain, whatever.
What's curious is that this process seems not only to have a healing effect, it can help us realize that we don't feel quite as strongly about something as we thought we did. 
Writing has a way of objectifying the issues.
For example, we may feel anger and resentment towards a person who has hurt us. Writing about that person - or fictionalizing them - can often help us see the other person's point of view, thereby making is easier to deal with our pain.
Quite often I find I didn't know I had a particular opinion about something until I wrote about it. 
Writing helps me organize my thoughts, helps me clarify where I stand on issues, people, beliefs and other's agendas - often to the point of finding common ground between seemingly disparate standpoints.
I think this is a good thing because it means that writers, whatever their personal prejudices, have an opportunity to present points of view that are reasonable and morally sound. 
In fact, I would argue that writers have a duty to do this.
When you look at the history of mankind, with its constant wars and political disasters, you can often trace terrible events back to a misguided piece of writing - produced either by fanatics, zealots or simply irresponsible people who should have know better.
"Malleus Maleficarum", The Witch's Hammer, was first published in 1486 and, it could be argued, led to the death of around nine million people, persecuted by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition.
It's also been argued that "Mein Kampf" and some of Nietzsche's writings led indirectly to the two great wars of the last century.
And God only knows how many people have perished in defense of so called 'holy' books.
I believe writers have a responsibility to be rational, clear and circumspect in their writing, to uphold certain moral and decent values and societal mores. 
In our writing, we should strive to be calm and objective at all times. 
And never feel the need to incite hate or anger or bitterness.
The last thing we want is for our words to be taken out of context and misinterpreted and worse, used to justify any kind of violence against another person.
Writers should be the good guys.
The calm in the eye of the storm.
The glue that holds the world together.
Keep writing!
 rob at home

"The literary-type writers, I admire them. I wish I was smart enough to write a book that's hard to read, you know?" Jerry Jenkins

1 comment:

J.S. Pan said...

writing is like water, it can bring life and it can flood.

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