Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Master McKee and perseverance

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a weekend workshop by Robert McKee on writing comedy and thrillers. It was a great time and I can truly say that I consider him one of the best writing teachers I‘ve ever encountered. He’s full of life, full of ideas and challenges. He is a force and no matter if you agree or disagree, he will get your writer’s blood moving through your body.
After I received the interview posted below through one of the many writing e-newsletters that come my way, I passed it on to the other members of The Other Bunch. Our fellow writer and Web master Bonnie Dodge decided to share it with the readers of our site. What struck me most was his discussion about perseverance.
It is such a rich and daunting word for writers. How many times have we got rejections or have been consumed with self-doubt and thought, Why the hell am I doing this? Why continue? Why persevere?
As writers — the kind of writer who loves the written word and telling stories — we are left with no choice but to persevere. We are compelled to continue for our sanity, for our emotions, for our life. When we don’t persevere, then we are left feeling emptier than a blank page.
McKee talks about persevering toward perfection.
Perfection is another big word and I think about that wonderful speech in “Moonstruck” when Nicolas Cage’s character says that only snowflakes are perfect. So correct.
When I think perfection, “The Great Gatsby,” “Catch-22” and some of my other favorite books come to mind. For me, they are perfect when the language, character, story and emotion come together and bring the book to life.

How do we accomplish our own bit of perfection? Write, read, study the craft and keep writing.

Now, that is something to which we can all aim, to which we all can persevere.

-Patricia Santos Marcantonio


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Filed under Archives 2009, Question of the Month, Writing