The arch

On a personal writing note, I am disappointed, upset, and even bewildered. At the time I did not see it, but my older film reviews were following a train of thought (not ideal), at GiveWay, and Transmission, both Christian magazines by the same publisher, Nutzworld, Challenge Weekly, Daystar, Kid’s Highway, Faces (Baptist), Anglican Taonga, Amazon.com (not as a contributor), and Beliefnet.com. Most of these were great opportunities for me in writing film reviews. Yet stringing a review together in a train of thought I realize is not as effective as holding the writing together. Live and learn as they say.

Stringing a piece together (perhaps that is one reason why freelance reporters are called stringers as it is quick and efficient and less expensive for the publisher) is good for getting one’s thoughts down, albeit in a coherent way, but not for publishing, ideally. From those thoughts, though, to create a better piece that holds together with one over arching view of the film.

Once this is mastered, in terms of the writing, I may cater my film writing towards the needs of the publisher, which may mean I have other ideas for different publishers, depending on their need, but the same approach to the writing. This may mean compromise is involved. However, in film writing, two ideas can be of the same worth. It depends on me if I go this far, because I may not want to go along with another publisher. Even so, the one idea one has in reviewing a film may be the most genuine, the truest impression. So, that is why I like to be genuine above all else.

At any time, the ideas, the point of view, and the writing, all comes down to the writer and what is going on with them. I think I am moving away from a stringer to someone holding the writing better together.

Decide

Reviews are written forms of communication so a reviewer needs to communicate. A reviewer needs to write clearly to get a point across. A reviewer of films, stage, and music, and stuff like that, and books and all that kind of thing, really has to commit to an opinion of a work to get their point across. Why? It’s clear. Following one point through to the end makes for transparent writing. The reader understands the point of view easily. For years, I lacked the decision-making power to commit to an opinion and express that. My voice came through, but not my point of view. I expressed or described my impressions of a film, but not really articulate a point of view clearly. But, I believe, coming down on one side can make for the better writing. And one must be believable with their point of view. Does it ring true? Does the writer believe in it? So, conviction in one’s view is of the essence and the reader should know if it sounds authentic.

Relevance

Someone may say to me, “Your reviews are relevant”. It’s a compliment. He likes my reviews. But are they relevant? Being relevant is how it sounds rather than what it is. Relevance, therefore, is illusion. What’s relevant writing depends on the reader and their point of view. The person who says that my reviews are relevant is judging that on his own point of view. Relevance is not objective.