Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Writing a Merry Christmas

For those of you who enjoy the wonderful movie, "A Christmas Story," I just want to remind you that it was based on a novel by the marvelous Jean Shepherd (who also wrote the script and narrated the film) called "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash."

And for those of you who think "It's a Wonderful Life" is the epitome of the Christmas spirit, it too was based on previously-written material, a short story called "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern who sent it out with his Christmas cards.

And all those incarnations of "Scrooge"? Yep, a classic Charles Dickens story called "A Christmas Carol."

You know when you write a line or a paragraph that it's the exact right thing, that it's a sentence to be proud of - and often that makes the difference between a sucky day of writing and a good one. You may have spent six straight hours churning out junk that you know will have to be trashed but if you get that one line right, it makes the whole day worth the agony.

I wonder if the writers of those magnificent stories knew they were writing classics that would last long beyond their lifetimes. I hope they felt that "rightness" of their lines.

Your Hollywood connection,