The other night Darleen and I watched, Robot and Frank. Frank Langella is always fun to watch and he did not disappoint in his performance. The cast was also well rounded and all pulled their weight. But the interesting thing was the setting of the near future, where cell phones have become these small hand sized panes of plastic that enable video chat and all of the other things we expect of our smart phones. The subplot that struck me though was the conversion of the town’s local library into a, “Book experience,” by an obnoxious yuppie type, who Frank (Spoiler) robs later in the film.
Libraries have played a big part in all of my life. Pre internet they we’re your go to. And even now, they can yield small treasures of research. Books long out of print or so obscure you’d never know where to find them. See thanks to the corporate sphere, it’s a lot easier to look up a desired title and purchase the book in question than it is to look for it through the library system. I’m not immune to this. When I’m working on something I do like to have the research material close at hand and as some projects take years to figure out, the library tends not to be the solution. But a world without libraries is not a good world. Books are a wealth of knowledge, literally and if you push the search for any knowledge aside in pursuit of the material and lets be honest, a 30 second commercial is a much easier sell than the dust jacket of a book. You start to create a society that doesn’t question things. That’s worries me. I work with a lot of regular people, the ones that read do seem a little more switched on.
Of course now we get to the crux of this post.
There are lots of books on this subject. How to succeed, how to sell, how to write. Where it gets a bit thin on the ground is the business side of things as in how it all works. I see a lot of the same questions over and over and the level of ignorance is astonishing. If you’re a writer and you want to do this as a job, you should know the steps involved in optioning, selling and ultimately producing and where you fit in to all of that. Ask around sure but take the time to actually find out from books and articles how things go down. It’s not hard to find and the serious writer owes themselves to find out and figure it out.
Otherwise they (and you know who, “They,” are) will bend you over the desk, pull down your pants and the rest is sheer pornography and not the good kind.