Well, maybe I’m the wrong person to ask why writers are so special! I mean, I am biased…
And you’re right, I bet you DO hear fabulous stories every day at your coffee house. I mean we all do, don’t we. We both tell great stories to our friends and listen raptly as they tell stories back to us. It’s so cool, that process. But writers take the process one step further and WRITE it down and polish the telling of it.
And if you believe the Aborigines of Australia we’ve been doing this as human beings for probably 100,000 years. I tell my students that human beings have story telling practically hard-wired into their DNA. And this is a really important point for every writer on the planet to remember.
That story telling hard-wiring means that your audience inherently knows a good story from a BAD ONE - it’s in their genetic coding. So don’t try to bullshit your audience with a half-baked piece of storytelling pie that none of them will buy. They’re too smart to be bamboozled. They may not have $2 words to tell you why a story isn’t compelling; but their story radar spots a fake just as easily as… well, you would!
At the same time, don’t be discouraged at this news. Just recognize that IF your audience comes equipped with this fantastic array of biological story detectors - SO DO YOU. Where writers get into trouble is when they get lazy. Their bio detector is telling them what they just wrote is crap - and they waffle about fixing it. It’ll DO. I can pass it off. NO ONE will notice… NOT! Everyone will notice. IF you’re radar is telling you it needs fixing - FIX IT. (after you’ve completed the first draft, mind you!). Don’t whimp out on us, give us a story that really FRYS all that built in radar. That’s what we really want in movies is stories that make us sit up and take notice; stories that surprise us!
I hope that helps! And I wish you luck with your screenplay. Let me know when you’ve completed your script. I’d love to read your work!