My notes, drafts, and collection of screenplays and screenwriting books are out of control. I hate clutter. Tough trait for a writer. Time to shred bad writing and move a few books from the rolling wire bins under the bed to cedar foot lockers in the garage.
Why shred bad drafts? Because if they aren't good enough to be produced while I'm alive, I sure don't want anyone reading them when I'm dead. I save the portions worth saving, clearly mark them as rough drafts, and ditch the rest.
Of course, a person only has to scan the web for bad writing I've left etched into eternity online. Not much I can do about that unless I have early warning and time to delete my blog before I die. Even then, my footprints will still be all over the place. Still, there's much to be learned from the good, the bad, and the ugly so I refuse to delete the post about my first grade singing serpent with the British accent and Davy Jones haircut.
The other day my son noticed that I had bought the paperback screenplay for a film that I loathe and he marveled that I had even dog-eared pages and highlighted certain passages. While I'm not going to waste my breath explaining to a teenager how my whole "learning from other screenwriters" thing works, it merits mentioning here because it's probably true of all of us.
So, here goes --
True, I have very few "favorite" screenwriters but I can appreciate a writer's skills without being particularly fond of the results. While I may be a fan of very few, I'm a student to all.