Monday, January 30, 2023

Scott Baxter's Cowboys & Writing From The Inside Out

 January 30, 2023

   I finally got to see "The Gathering" down at the Scottsdale Museum of the West today. The show features ranch photographs from Scott Baxter, like this classic.

Casey Murph from the H Bar Y
Navajo County, Arizona
by Scott Baxter

"They're still out there working. You just can't see them from the road."

—Steve Filmore

   Meanwhile, closer to my studio:

Daily Whip Out: "Orange Dusk Riders"

Meanwhile. . .

 Writing From The Inside Out
   Most writers come at story from the outside in, that is, they write scenes and dialogue and then add to it and add to it, carving from the outside, trying to find the center. Robert McKee makes the case that you very seldom find good stories that way. Instead, you need to write from the inside out. I'll let him explain:

The Step Outline
   "As the term implies, a step-outline is the story told in steps.
   "Using one or two-sentence statements, the writer simply and clearly describes what happens in each scene, how it builds and turns. For example: 'He enters expecting to find her at home, but instead discovers her note saying she's left for good.'
   "On the back of each card the writer indicates what step in the design of the story he sees this scene fulfilling—at least for the moment. . .the goal is to destroy his work. Taste and experience tell him that 90% of everything he writes, regardless of his genius, is mediocree at best. In his patient search for quality, he must create far more material than he can use, then destroy it. He may sketch a scene a dozen different ways before finally throwing the idea of the scene out of the outline. He may destroy sequences, whole acts. A writer secure in this talent knows there's no limit to what he can create, and so he trashes everything less than his best on a quest for a gem-quality story."
—Robert McKee

   There's more, but in terms of finding and telling a great story, this is the best way to do it!

"Art deteriorates when it is done for the audience."
—James Pierce

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