Saturday, January 19, 2013

Speed Dating for Writers

A question I’m always asked is “how do you find a writing partner?”. I met mine in the army but I sure don’t recommend that method. The WGA has come up with a nifty idea. Speed Dating. Just like the social version with the same success rate of getting laid. Every so often the Guild sponsors evenings for writers looking for that perfect scribe mate. I’ve never been to one of course, but I imagine you hear some pretty wacky responses. As a public service, so you don’t make these gaffes, here are few of the responses I would NOT want to hear. (I'm sure you can think of some more yourself.)

Dennis Miller is funny now. He never used to be but he is now.

We can work at my place. I live in Bakersfield.

Hey, hey, don’t touch my Naomi Watts photos! They’re not bothering you.

I can work anywhere any time. In fact, if you’ve got a couch I could crash on, that would be sweet.

If I could go back and work on any classic sitcom from the past, it would have to be MAMA’S FAMILY.

You would be…let’s see…my eighth partner.

I’m really good at editing. You pitch me ten ideas and I can tell you which is the good one.

It's nothing personal. I don't look anyone in the eye.

Do graphic comics count as books I’ve read?

Look, if you didn’t go to an Ivy school I don’t even know why we’re talking.

Everyone who’s read my script thought it wasn’t funny. That’s why I need a partner.

I do my best work between 2 and 4 A.M.

First things first -- who gets top billing?

Let’s work at my place. That way I can watch my twins. They just started walking!

You don’t remember? You slept with me at the Sundance retreat and never called me back, you shit!

I have a spec JOEY I could show you.

This rubber band? Whenever I start feeling this building smoldering rage my shrink says play with this rubber band. Does it bother you?

There’s a British version of THE OFFICE?

You have beautiful hair. Can I touch it?

Do you have a cigarette?

How long have I fucking been writing? Fuck knows. But I guess it was, fuck, I dunno, some fucking time around the end of last fucking year or some shit.

The only thing is… I don’t drive.

I took Robert McKee’s class twice. So I kind of see myself as an expert on story.

Would you take my hands and join me in a prayer?

Okay, well…if you’re here and I’m here it’s pretty clear our partnership isn’t working.


Ashley said...

This is a nice post, though I must admit, I would be best friends with the person who does her best work between 2 and 4am. :-)

Mac said...

I'm so glad I gave up smoking. These days it makes a list next to asking to touch someone's hair.

I had a guy ask if i wanted to write with him. He said he'd had precious partners but they were all "a bunch of fucking bastards." All of them? I thought of asking him what are the chances of every single one being difficult, and did he see a pattern there?

But I'm a coward, so I lied and said I already had a writing partner - and he gets very jealous.

Duck Blood Soup said...

My brother suggested that we become writing partners for a novel. Knowing each other for decades and living two time zones apart let us avoid most of those problems. Sadly, having a creative family member as a partner is not an option for most people.

Mitchell McLean said...

I'm schizophrenic. So I expect to get paid double.

Wayne said...

"I hope you don't mind if we write everything in longhand. I'm Amish."

Janice said...

"That's really funny. It really is. What? Oh, I never actually laugh, but I'll tell you when it's funny."

Barbara C. said...

For some reason I thought of The Pina Colada Song.

donnie said...

You met your writing partner in the army? That clinches it--I want to read a sequel to "The Me Generation"!

lisa sparx said...

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Tom Quigley said...

I've been told my spec is too intellectual, and you seem like a perfect fit to help me with it.

Rewrite sessions make me break out in hives.

I don't know why Spielberg won't return my calls.

It'll be nice to blow the dust off the old Smith-Corona and start writing again.

My industry credits? Well, Lindsay Lohan once hit me with her car.

Great, then I'll see you next week at my BevHills location -- are you familiar with the Kinko's on Wilshire?

RCP said...

Sage advice.

"Partners? Great. To make it official, I think we should wear a vial of each other's blood around our necks."

Brian Phillips said...

"There hasn't been a funny woman on TV since Joan Davis."

"Do you hear that? That song that keeps playing over and over..."

"Which one of you will I be writing with. Please don't answer at the same time. I hate that."

"It's like, my friends think I'm all funny and stuff and I'm like DUH."

"[Hamgs up phone]My parole officer just won't give an INCH!"

The last one was a quote, but she was sales, not a writer.

YEKIMI said...

Insists his name be listed first above the title.

Tim W. said...

Don't listen to what Lisa Sparx says about realty. This is the woman who killed my father, raped and murdered my sister, burned my ranch, shot my dog, and stole my Bible!

And that was just by clicking on the link!

Breadbaker said...

Come on over, my sister-wives will help with milk and cookies.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me. I need to reload.

DBenson said...

"Four words: MASH in outer space. MASH is public domain, right?"

Johnny Walker said...

I've tried to write with a few different friends, and while it's fun to begin with, they've always lost interest in the project and left me hanging. It's hard to find people who will follow through and not give up when the initial excitement has worn off.

Johnny Walker said...

Also, it's hard to find someone who won't touch my Naomi Watts shrine.

Mac said...

@Tim W.

You too? Lisa Sparx punched my elderly mother, then she deliberately ran over my puppy. I'm not questioning Lisa's ability as a short sale processing agent, I'm just saying she should be kept away from the elderly and any domestic pets.

Storm said...


I think it's a good idea in theory but really, what are the chances of sharing any kind of truly creative vision with someone else, I have so many ideas but no time to research them, having someone to soundboard and research would be good but I find most writers, especially myself are slightly control freaks. That's why the write! Ultimate control. Sharing this could be difficult.

cadavra said...

The day I knew I wasn't going to make it as a writer was the day a script was returned because "it's too well-written."

I wish I was joking.

Krissie said...

Finding a compatible writing partner can be tough to do, but once you've found them there's no limit to the creativity!

Hoping that you've been able to find a certain someone that inspires you and keeps you motivated!