I have taken away one lesson of principle importance from my screenwriting class yesterday, and that is my own woeful inability to meet my artistic expectations. That is not necessarily very surprising; it was only the first class. Still, I cannot escape this persistent, if pessimistic, sensation of impending failure. The problem, you see, is dialogue.
Screenwriting had always held two great interests. First, I had hoped that the firm structure would help focus my often disparate aspirations. And second, crafting dialogue and conveying the nature of a person through their words has always seemed like an engaging challenge.
My estimations of the genre's dimensions have proven accurate, but my particular talents may not be well suited to the task. I find myself extremely dissatisfied with my varying efforts constructing conversations. The words just feel stilted or artificial, the characters far from engaging. In large part, I blame my own writing style.
Some people are kind enough to remark favorably on my literary endeavors, and I think it within the bounds of respectable modesty to admit that I harbor some degree of pride in my writing. Even so, my voice does not seem well suited to that of others. This style that now characterizes my composition, for whatever pleasant particularities may arise in prose, has not carried over into dialogue.
I do not write as people speak. I don't even write as I speak. In fact, my own conversation is marked by nothing as cumbersome, nor as when it may arise, as elegant, as comes from my pen. How this happened I'm not quite sure, but it is now a matter of some frustration.
Of course, it is not necessarily a fatal defect, the application of aberrant discourse. Some of my favorite movies and television shows are stocked full of characters unusually and perhaps even impossibly erudite. So if it were simply a matter of big words or clever phrases, I should be okay. Unfortunately, my limitations are somewhat less forgiving.
Aside from any inability to actually write in the manner the genre demands, I also seem to suffer from a distinct lack of concept. Everyone else has apparently entered the class with some long cherished storyline. Although they naturally vary according to the talents and dedication of the authors, the best offerings are wonderfully intricate, and bring my own inadequacies into stark focus.
I knew, coming into this, that I would have a lot of work ahead of me. But to be perfectly honest, I had not expected to be so completely unprepared. Perhaps my own expectations were unrealistic, and certainly it would not require the fulfillment of standards to which I hold myself simply to pass (although the grade and credits are in every way irrelevant). However, I first took this class in order to satisfy my own artistic desires. Now that I am faced with the possibility of failure, in personal if not absolute terms, I cannot help but regret the enterprising inclination that led me to try in the first place.