Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mighty Pen - Part 2

Some days, I shudder at the lack of integrity I witness in people but most days, I think that I simply expect way too much. Today is not one of those days. Expecting new, or at least clean, 3D glasses, after forking over a fortune in tickets, is not unreasonable. Expecting the guy handing me the glasses to admit they had not been washed or sanitized instead of insisting I was looking at soap residue when I could clearly see the fingerprints and heaven only knows what else that was. Soda? Snot? Slobber?

Thank you, AMC, for treating me like a paranoid germaphobe.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Creative Screenwriting Needs YOU!

Let me preface this by saying that Creative Screenwriting Magazine does not want or need your hard luck or struggling writer story, your "peed next to Clooney in the can" story, or your amateur advice. However, they ARE looking for contributors. Here's what they say:

We continue to receive a lot of "interview with a writer" and "Q&A with a producer" proposals. We're currently overstocked with ideas in those two areas. Here is...

What We Need Most And Now-- See Below For Details:

#1 A regular (possibly weekly) reporter/blogger to cover new feature script sales, hot scripts, and script subjects being sought.

#2 A regular (possibly weekly) reporter/blogger to cover new scriptwriting opportunities in TV: new shows just sold, when to seek writing work where, and script subjects being sought.

#3. For our May-June issue: Articles on screenwriting contests. An overview of the major contests, sidebars listing contests and their deadlines and contact information, success stories arising from contests (we have several ourselves from our own contests).

For our July-August issue: articles on screenwriting education, the film schools, scriptwriting schools, and other articles on the value of formal screenwriting education.

Needed soon For an upcoming issue: articles covering all the other (non-contest, non-school) resources for screenwriters: software, web sites, services, online script services of all kinds, great web sites for writers.

A new regular bimonthly column on craft, by an expert.

More "Know Your Show" articles and updates.

Reporting On/Analyzing The Niche Scriptwriting Markets

New resources: brief descriptive reports (reports, not book reviews) on new books, software, and other resources.
Your best chances of writing for us lie with the subjects above. Please see the "What We Do Not Want" list before pitching your favorite idea. Also, be aware of our deadlines.
Read all the info here. And, by "all the info" I mean read all the info. Then go here to pitch your article. Don't submit your ideas to them by mail, by email, or by contacting one the editors directly. They only accept via their pitch form.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Bastard Words

The only bastard word I've found in the dictionary -- a word the dictionary defines and then says NOT to use because it's not legitimate -- is "irregardless". There must be more. "Ain't", maybe? No matter. Sooner or later, we will cave. We will eventually accept "irregardless" and its gross violation of grammar the way we have accepted split infinitives and words like "dang" which is a legitimate interjection, adjective, and noun, and "uh-oh", which is listed in the dictionaries --yes OUR dictionaries -- as an official interjection.

Go figure.

"Irregardless" is a double negative. It is redundant. Actually, saying that a double negative is redundant is also redundant. The "ir" cancels out "regardless" so a literal definition would be "not regardless" which would make its definition "worthy of regard". Or, the "less" cancels out "irregard" which would mean "without irregard" and since "irregard" can't stand alone, we're left with the "less" cancelling out the "ir" which would mean "without lack of regard" which again, means "with regard" so the whole word is a big fat mess.

Yet, "irregardless" is used as a synonym for "regardless" which, of course, is unacceptable to educated people. But the word "unacceptable" is acceptable because the "un" does not cancel out the "able".

Well, "redouble" is redundant and I don't hear people wailing about its crime against the English language. Is it because "redouble" doesn't offend itself with both prefix and a suffix? "Redouble" only offends the root word with its prefix. But if we "re" and "double", we are doubling twice which makes its literal meaning what? Quadruple?

Let's face it. In speech, there are no backspaces. But in writing? No excuses. And yeah, I could end this with some not-so-cutesy attempt at irony like "let's redouble our efforts irregardless of how many times we've proofed" but I've already done the irony thing with my split infininitive so no. We're writers. Come on.