"...truth, in writing, is the only important thing. That's what it's for. The whole time, every day, all these pages, all my life, means sitting there looking for something -- some line, some insight, some microsecond -- that makes me think: yes. Yes, that's true. That's real. I recognize that. I know it. That's all I'm after! It might be a truth discovered ten million times before by other people, but that doesn't matter. If you discover it for yourself, then that makes everything worthwhile. No wonder writing is such hard work! You're strip mining your own head, every day, searching for this stuff -- and then those moments of revelation are like a godsend.
I remember thinking, and thinking, and thinking, about Vince, in Queer as Folk, until I arrived at that crucial conclusion about him, in Episode 8, that because his boyfriend loves him he thinks less of the boyfriend. Vince cannot love Cameron because Cameron is stupid to love Vince. That's a great insight. Frankly, that's brilliant! It's devastating. And it's not merely analysis. It decides Vince's character, which then decides the plot, which then decides the entire climax of the series. The discovery of a truth like that doesn't come along very often, though every other moment is spent working toward it.
It's so worth it, when it happens. Oh my word. Gold dust."
-- Russell T Davies, The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter, p. 692.
"If you want a Doctor Who example...it's there in the moment in "Aliens in London" -- that moment when Jackie calls the police to report the Doctor. I love the truth of that moment, that she's so shell-shocked she betrays the Doctor. An incredible thing to do, and very real. It's there in the whole 45 minutes of "Midnight," in the accuracy of that group mentality. It's there in that tiny moment in "Turn Left," when Donna tells Sylvia she's tried the Army for jobs, but with no luck -- because this is after she's seen the Army take her neighbors away to a concentration camp. Donna might well rage in the street, and yet she asks the same Army for employment. I really believe that. A true moment of defeat."
"...(she) then turned to hoist herself onto a bar stool, showing off a pair of haunches a man would be proud to have the tattooing of."
--Andy Dalziel in Reginald Hill's The Price of Butcher's Meat, p. 51.
Friday, March 26, 2010
at 12:05 PM