"Therefor" and "But" will propel your story.
The “South Park” co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone appear in a clip from the mtvU show “Stand In.”
There is no such thing as inspiration, at least, if there is I have not discovered it. There is, instead, dedication and complete absorption in your craft. I am a self-made writer, I started with a poor prose style and had to fine it down as best I could. You must appreciate from the start that writing is a profession like medicine or the law.’
The primary way American entertainment understands suffering is as a prelude to catharsis.
There are a lot of things to get used to the first time you spend any time in Antarctica. The vistas of tumbled ice, for example, that look like Martian landscapes and which you have to continually remind yourself are part of the same planet on which you have grown up. The sheer distance you can see in every direction and gigantic scale of the mountains and walls of ice. The total absence of plants. The sensory disorientation that comes with true silence, no natural smells and the endless white of the ice that often bleeds into the sky.
In short, if you want to know how to be a successful writer, there is specific advice, general advice, logistical advice and spiritual advice. But in all this advice, the most important element, the one, true, absolute key to personal, financial, aesthetic and every other kind of success as a writer, is invariably left out. Work ethic, knowledge, skill, perseverance — none of them is as important as the one, single most important thing. Which would be luck.
Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your ear, your tongue, your hand. And, above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile. Such metaphors, like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes. Ideas lie everywhere through the poetry books, yet how rarely have I heard short story teachers recommending them for browsing.
What poetry? Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms. Don’t force yourself too hard. Take it easy. Over the years you may catch up to, move even with, and pass T. S. Eliot on your way to other pastures. You say you don’t understand Dylan Thomas? Yes, but your ganglion does, and your secret wits, and all your unborn children. Read him, as you can read a horse with your eyes, set free and charging over an endless green meadow on a windy day.
In-house capability is important to innovation but external advisors still have an important role to play. The ability to brush your teeth every day doesn’t mean that you can get rid of your dentist entirely. I think there will always be a role for the dreamers, the crazy ones, the agencies just bold enough to think that they can change the world.