Writing Advice

by on Feb.22, 2010, under Movies

Jason Reitman was asked at a WGA event to give the aspiring writers in the audience something to keep them going through their darkest hours.

He said that he had hit a wall after working on Up In The Air for five years (this was part of a no-longer-subtle series of digs at writer Sheldon Turner, with whom he’s been forced to share credit and stage time by a WGA arbitration panel). He ran into Judd Apatow at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and asked him for advice.

Apatow said, “Write the ending. Because, then, theoretically, you’re done.”

And that was how Reitman did it (though pace Apatow he wasn’t immediately done.) He figured out the ending, and that let him go back and charge through things like the 20-page wedding scene. He knew where he had to go.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Joshua Malbin

    Here’s my favorite recent writing tip, from a collection of them. This one’s from Margaret Atwood:

    1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.

  • Joshua Malbin

    Or, another nice piece of advice from Beckett, in Molloy:

    Not to want to say, not to know what you want to say, not to be able to say what you think you want to say, and never to stop saying, or hardly ever, that is the thing to keep in mind, even in the heat of composition.

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