Why I’ll Never be a Hollywood Screenwriter

I’ve spent the last week ailing with an increasingly severe headache, which eventually escalated to something that a doctor described as “migraine-ish”. (Might’ve been “migraine-like”. Definitely not “migrainey” – I’d have remembered “migrainey”.) So again I’m going with the “gag that I can’t be bothered assembling a full column around” routine. Comme ça:

Sure, I’d probably be good at it

The 500-1,000 word piece seems a good limit for me – anything more than that becomes a chore very quickly. Writing a novel sounds like a colossal drag, and crafting a screenplay, from all that I’ve heard and read, is nothing short of hellish.

Besides, I could never write screenplays for a living. Sure, I’d probably be good at it – I’d have a few early successes and soon I’d find myself being brought on board bigger and more prestigious projects, but eventually I’d be in charge of writing the screenplay for the latest Tom Cruise Jack Reacher installment. And I’d have no choice but to include a plot point where Reacher uses his military expertise to craft his own special ammunition, which he would obviously name “Reacher rounds”. And then I’d fill the script with dialogue like:

“What are you going to do about that crime boss, Jack?” “I’m going to give him… a Reacher round.”

“That scumbag needs a Reacher round and I’m the guy to give him one!”

“You bad guys sure look satisfied with yourselves – well let’s see how satisfied you are after I give you all some of my famous Reacher rounds!”

“What? WHAT!?”

And then I’d be murdered by a Scientologist death squad. Nope, I’m definitely doing myself a favour by steering clear of that particular vocation.


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