This blog was originally posted on April 9, 2009.
“That was delightful!” I said to one of the writers at my workshop a few Sundays ago.
Honestly, I don’t know where that word came from. It just sort of slipped out.
But “delightful” was exactly the word to describe the final pitch she gave the class Sunday afternoon. She had worked hard on her story beats, and like others in the class, the gears in her mind were visibly stripping as the notion of the story she had collided with the new method she was learning that weekend.
And yet by the time she stood up and pitched out her story, she did so with enthusiasm. Beneath the surface of the plot points was a joy in telling it, and showing how the pieces all fit together. Isn’t this cool? I could almost see in her expression. And aren’t I good at doing this? And knowing that, isn’t this fun?
Delightful. That was the only word for it.
Are you delightful? Quite literally, are you filled with delight as you go about working out the beats of your story? You should be. This story you’re working on doesn’t have to be a comedy. It can be a deep drama, and it can feel like pulling teeth at times as you try hard to figure out what part fits where — and why you are even putting yourself through this!
But there must be a sly wink you give to yourself in the depths of this process that says: Yeah! I am mastering this! It’s slow, it’s tough, it’s getting better a millimeter a day, but by God, this is fun!
Conquering any story must be so. And no matter what story you write, I want to see the gleam in your eye when you pitch it, or sense the joy I can read between the lines of your script that says: That’s right! I’m baaaad! Because the delight you find is in our faces, too, as we listen to your pitch or read your story in awe.
Delight yourself. And you will delight us.