A must read for anyone interested in screenwriting.
I tried to write in an extremely spare, almost haiku style, both stage directions and dialogue. Some of it was a bit pretentious — but at other times I thought it worked pretty well.
When I’m working alone, the old hard way. Longhand. Fountain pen. Legal pad. Thesaurus at my side.
This last item, I’m not ashamed to say, is quite helpful — when you write screenplays, you don’t have a lot of room, and the stage directions can become onerously repetitive if you don’t work at fresh descriptions.
I like Towne’s approach. It’s like getting a calming slap across the face.
I didn’t realise until recently Towne had an uncredited role in writing on one of my all time favourite films, The Parallax View (1974). If you’ve not seen it you should, it’s a great piece of 1970’s conspiracy theory filmmaking, from Alan J. Pakula.
Some interesting insights into Kasdan’s work. I actively relate to his impulse to be linear. “I don’t write a quick draft and then go back. I don’t like to leave anything behind me, because I’m uncomfortable with it. I tend to write a scene many times over before going on.”