For my second way to be a great writer, (the first is here) I’m going to ask Ernest Hemingway to take a bow and present you with his very own…

Bullshit Detector

No writer can survive without it. It’s that crucial device that sits just between your ears and tells you when you’re coming up with crap.

On the one hand, it’s crucial to be able to come up with rubbish. Editing and judging too early is a major flaw in any creative artist. In the first instance it’s important to – using Stephen King’s phrase – “write with the door closed”.

First drafts are supposed to be manure. But then as you know out of manure beautiful things can grow.

However, it’s not much use if it stays as manure. That’s where EG’s great BS detector comes in.

Second draft, you plug the BS detector in, turn it on and write “with the door open.” You spot the blahand you weed it out with a ruthless venom.

Ernest used to say that he’d seek out “one true sentence” and build from there. It’s not a bad way to go.

Too many otherwise well-written scripts that I see are simply sabotaged because the writer didn’t bother to be truthful. Whether it’s a plot point or a character or just a lack of careful research.

Go looking for truth.