Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ON WRITING: david simon on the 'average reader' (Quote)

This is taken from a fantastic piece in 'The Believer' mag, in which Nick Hornby interviewed David Simon - the mastermind behind 'The Wire', 'Generation Kill' and 'Treme'. This is a great quote, a great philosophy, and I think forms a kind of rallying cry for how HBO's drama changed TV storytelling for the better.

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.

Full interview can be found here

ON WRITING: david milch on convention (Quote)

It seems appropriate to start with something from David Milch - the screenwriter behind 'Deadwood' (as well as 'Luck' and 'NYPD Blue') as Milch is the reason I really became fascinated with the craft. Deadwood is truly a masterpiece of TV writing, more so because apparently Milch dictated each episode lying on his back in a trailer, the night before shooting. Whether or not this story is apocryphal the fact that I don't doubt it says a lot about the man.

Here's Milch's take on Convention:

"As I get older, I become less and less patient with convention. A convention is the set of assumptions in a story which are taken as given, rather than tested by the action."