Friday, October 1, 2010

Flashback Friday: Lessons on Writing From Ron Burgundy


Welcome to Week Twenty-Two of Flashback Fridays where the old and new collide on everything from books to movies to first loves to favorite vacations. This week we get advice on the writing biz from Ron Burgundy from Anchorman.

1). Egos....

I think the biggest turn off for both fans and fellow writers is when an author cops a tude'. Either they go off on a negative review someone has left, they only follow certain published writers on twitter, rather than all writers, they don't do anything but talk on their twitter or blog about their awesomeness aka their deal, their mega-agent, whatever, or they abandon you to go sit at the Cooler Kids table. I've seen inflated egos in everyone from the unpublished to the published. Believing in yourself is a good thing, and every once in awhile a little self-tooting of your horn is more than acceptable. But when you're constantly raving about the mastery that is you and your book, it's kinda a turn off. The Internet is a great and horrible thing because sometimes you come off different than you intended. I find myself drawn to approachable authors who come off as humble and caring on twitter and blogs. The latest one to catch my eye is Kiersten White of Paranormalcy. She totally handled a difficult subject about her Mormon faith in a hilarious and understanding way. She also took the time to respond to each and every person who commented or asked a question.

Even if an author/writer should pull the ego card, you should try to refrain from name-calling, dissing, etc.

(2). Sometimes ideas, scenes, characters....well, they, er, STINK!

There's a scene in

Anchorman where Ron's friend, Brian Fontana, decides to use Sex Panther cologne to bag a lady. Unfortunately, the cologne is HIDEOUS and makes people swoon from the stench, rather than his hotness. This can happen sometimes in writing too. You have to keep an open mind when beta readers or your agent or your editor comes back with constructive criticism. Sure, you may think the idea or the scene is the best thing since sliced bread, but you have to remember that sometimes you're just too close to the material to see it objectively. So, you may need to step away and try to find a better way to approach the character, the scene, or the story idea.

(3). Bask in the Unconditional Love the "Baxter's" of our lives bring

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I'm apt to mentioning my dogs....probably way too much, lol. When I first started writing in the summer of 09', my dog, Chance, became conditioned, just like Pavlov's dogs, to the sound of my computer shutting off. He might be comatose on the couch with me in my writing chair, but if he heard the "dum, dum, da" of the laptop shutting off, he was up like a racehorse through the Kentucky Derby Gates. If you're the owner of cats like am I as well, you know that cats often take a message and get back to you when you call them. But dogs, they're there for the long haul.

During the 7th Ring of Hell that was the query search, Chance was there to give his unconditional love and support. I added Duke, the pupster, to the mix in January. He was on board to help cheer me up and keep me laughing during the next hellish crusade that the submission process is/was(gearing up to go back out this month.....KILL MEEEEE!).

That's the awesome part about our pets. They love us no matter if we're agented, sold, or if we get our word counts. They just want a pat on the head or scratch behind the ears when we disembark from our imaginary worlds.

So, what about you? Worried about stinky ideas? Got pets that get you through? Share your thoughts!

Can't get enough of Ron Burgundy? Want to style yourself, your baby, or your dog? Then you're just a click away from it.


Jennifer Walkup said...

OMG This was so funny. The Anchorman quotes are downright hilarious, but on the serious side, you mentioned some really great stuff, esp those stinky ideas and ego-inflated authors. great post!

Amie Kaufman said...

Yes! My dog knows the sound of the laptop lid closing late at night. As soon as he hears it he climbs up from his bed. He knows that the sound means that he'll be able to climb into my lap so we can have a cuddle before bed.

Leah said...

Love, love, LOVE Anchorman.
And love, love, love the comparisons! XD