Monday, May 17, 2010

Why Write? Script Consultant Danny Manus Speaks

Daniel Manus is an in-demand script consultant, founder of No BullScript Consulting, and the author of the E-Book No B.S. for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective.

For more on Danny, read the Author Q&A on Write On! Online.

Why is writing so important for young adults?
Writing can serve so many purposes. It's a productive hobby, it can be great therapy, it's a way to express yourself in your own voice, and as I've learned, it's fun to find things you have written 20 years ago and see how far you've come. But most of all, writing is at the core of everything you're going to do in the future. Developing your written communication skills and creative skills will help you in whatever field you choose. In a world of text messaging and twittering, being able to REALLY write is a powerful ability that will set you apart.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were a tween or teen?
I wish I had known how hard it is to follow and achieve your dream and how long it takes. I honestly thought that if I was a good student, went to a good college, did my extra-curriculars, and worked hard, that success would fall in my lap...and it doesn't. All that stuff is just the prelude to the actual hard work. And I wish I knew how to set deadlines for myself and not get sucked into the dangerous habit of procrastination… I also wish I knew that there’s no such thing as your “permanent record.” High School would have been much more fun! There’s about a million other things, but none of them are related to writing.

How has the ability to express yourself helped you in life?
My ability to express myself is the only way I’ve been able to survive – personally, professionally, etc. I’ve always been a writer and a talker. If you can’t convey yourself in words (written or spoken), people are going to stop paying attention to you. It’s not enough to have ideas – especially to make it in Hollywood – you have to be able to express those ideas clearly and intelligently in a script, a story, a pitch, a conversation, etc. Never underestimate the importance of a good vocabulary. Expressing myself has often gotten me into trouble – as sometimes I say or write the wrong things. But I’d rather get in trouble for what I say than not say anything at all. Expressing yourself is one of the great freedoms of this country, so why not make sure that you can express yourself in the best way possible.

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