Go Into The Story: How They Write A Script: Nancy Meyers

by Scott Smith

ON WRITING SOLO COMPARED TO WORKING WITH A PARTNER

“Well, it’s much lonelier. And when I worked with Charles, we talked and talked and talked for months, just talking. I sort of don’t know another way to do it; so I ended up just writing, and writing all the conversation, because I needed to say those things and I didn’t want to actually, obviously, talk out loud. I would write my side of our conversations–what would have been a conversation with a collaborator. And by doing that, it was really very helpful, because I ended up with an eighty-eight-page outline that turned into a script. So, it’s interesting writing alone, because you can never get off the hook. You can never toss the ball to somebody else, or you can never say that is a bad idea, hoping they’ll make it into a good idea. It’s like playing tennis with a wall. It just keeps coming back to you, so you’re pushing yourself all the time. There’s never anybody else to ease the load, and I found it exhausting actually. But you also get to have your own ideas remain in a purer way.

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