Friday, June 22, 2012

The Friendship Zones

As we all know, friendship is a very delicate thing! And it takes time to develop! Here is a comprehensive and scientifically designed list on friendship development, that I have called The Friendship Zones!

Not Friends Zone

"I wish my not friend was my friend already!"
This is the saddest part of being friends, when you are not friends! You will want to be friends with the not friend, but they either don't know you exist, or, at this point, they think you are weird because you want to be friends with them so bad!

To get out of this zone: Keep trying! The not friend will have to say yes to hang out eventually! And when they do, they will realize how wonderful you are and they will be your friend!

Casual Friends Zone 

"Hi, Casual Friend! Did you you like that good movie? Yeah, me neither!"
So you've hung out once or twice, and you've gotten coffee and talked about your favorite movies. You are now Casual Friends! That means a 'like' every once in a while on Facebook and a couple text messages and inside jokes. It's a no-pressure, no commitment friendship, and it's fine to begin with, but who wants to stay like that forever?

To get out of this zone: Invite the casual friend to a small house party with your friend friends. The casual friend will have to slowly acclimate themselves to the group because they don't have their own friend friends there! They might even latch onto YOU because they don't know who else to talk to! Before they know it, they are dependent on you and they will no longer be casual friends!

Friend Friend Zone

"Hey, Brad Pitt! Are you my friend friend?" "Of course, friend!"
A friend friend is a friend that you see at least three times a week! You text each other like five times a day and you guys always are the first to comment on each other's Facebook statuses. Your inside jokes are so inside that you forgot where they started from - people are jealous of you because you two seem to have your own language! Everything here is wonderful!

To get out of this zone: Why would you want to get out of this zone? I'll tell you why! Because it's a sham! Because you still haven't seen the bad sides of each other yet! You haven't even gotten into a fight yet or seen each other upset! You're not even calling each other when you have a bad day because you don't want them to think you're weird! SO, when you are friend friends for about, say, three months, manufacture a crisis and see how they react! Will they comfort you? Will they check up on you? Will they wake up at two in the morning after your frantic call and meet you in an empty part of the city and take you home without asking questions? If so, you have successfully left the friend friend zone!

Kinda Not Friends Friend Zone 

"Ughd. They were my friend but now I don't want them to see me because they're weird!"
This zone is tough, but entirely necessary to the development of your friendship. After you manufacture a crises your friend will be undoubtedly closer to you, but they will also be a little weirded out and think you are full of drama! They will not call you as much, nor will they post 'likes' on your Facebook. You will feel as if you are kinda not friends friends.

To get out of this zone: Time will heal all wounds! After you give a tearful apology (make sure there are tears), you two will feel even closer, not just like friends anymore, almost like family!

Family Friend Zone

"We've been friends for sixty years, isn't that right, friend? Or should I say...brother?"
This is the best zone to be in! You are so close that you are like family! You see each other five times a day at least and post on each others' Facebook pages so much that no one else even bothers anymore! You hug and open up about feelings and even cry sometimes! It's wonderful! You'll make your lame casual friends and friend friends jealous of the two of you because you will constantly talk about how awesome your family friend is! When you have kids someday, you will refer to your family friend as family so much that your children will really think you're related! And then when you are old, you can be all nostalgic and funny with each other and you are just the best friends forever!

To get out of this zone: DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE NOT TO GET OUT OF THIS ZONE.

Psycho Sexual Friend Zone

If your friend is Christian Bale, you might be a psycho sexual friend.
Why did you get out of the Family Friend Zone?! Now you have crossed the line into the Psycho Sexual Friend Zone, you weirdo! You two have spent so much time together that you feel lost when you are apart. You text each other five times AN HOUR. At least! When you dream, you dream about you and your friend in psycho sexual situations, usually involving murder and dismemberment. You compare your friend to not just your other friends, but your family members and lovers. You manufacture a crises daily, because at this point, the emotional kick you get with your psycho sexual friend makes you feel alive! Your Facebook pages are just gross.

To get out of this zone: You will probably be separated in prison, after you committed your psycho sexually motivated crime together. This is the only way out of the psycho sexual friend zone.

There you have it! Now, you can make friends with ease! Have fun and friend safely!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Close The Door On "Unspiration"!

"Goodness, this unspiration is killing my writing buzz!"

Writing is fun! But every once in a while writers (most, not me) will go through bouts of what I like to call: "Unspiration"! What is unspiration? It's like the opposite of "Inspiration" you dummy! Like uninspired, but without the "in"! Stop using so many letters!

But anyway, let's talk about unspiration, since you brought it up.

Unspiration is when you tell the same story that has been told before. Your story could be about infidelity, familial relationships, or a classic coming-of-age tale. When you, not me, but *YOU* do nothing to make it new and unique from thousands of other stories, you have succumbed to unspiration!

Unspiration is the death of new. Unspiration is recycling. Unspiration is [insert something else here, I can't think of another example, I'm not unspired or anything I'm just like tired].

Going Green is bad when it comes to Writing! 

I've read a million articles on inspiration, unspiration's prettier sister. And that's great. But we also, I mean *YOU* also need to be better at spotting when you are unspired.

Because unspiration is insidious. You think that you're writing some great stuff because you're writing - you're actually writing! That's why unspiration can sneak onto the page!

"So the Zombies chase these survivors into a mall. Wait...am I unspired right now?"

First off, don't stop writing when this is happening. Inspiration and Unspiration sometimes feel like the same thing and you'll never get anything done if you keep thinking about which is which!

When you're done writing, take a break! Sleep a little! When you come back it will be easier to see whether your work is inspired or...you know.

Ask yourself: "Have I seen/read this type of story before?" Ask yourself: "Are these the most interesting characters?" Or: "Is this the best word I can use here?"

And then if you find that your work is, in fact, unspired, you can go about making it the opposite: inunspired or whatever!

Think: What if I changed the protagonist? How can I play with reader expectation? Can I say something new with this story?

And if you can't do those things, what the hell are you writing this story for?

I'm not saying everything you write should be entirely new. Someone important once said that there are like ten basic stories in the world (I personally don't believe this). I'm saying that everything YOU write should strive for something new and surprising, something that you haven't imitated from your favorite books or movies.

Okay. I confess.

Unspiration happens to me too (no - I'm serious!).

I wrote a spec script of an episode of "The Office" a while ago. And I was damn proud of it. I thought it was hilarious. I even sent it out to contests. It wasn't until I rewatched some episodes that i found that I had lifted basic plot points and ENTIRE LINES from other episodes without realizing it. I had been unspired and I didn't even know it (usually this is the case)! And it's because I let my arrogance cloud my vision. Getting my writing done was more important than feeling original. I'm seeing that tendency more while working on my novel and I'm trying to find ways to stop unspiration from taking control.

It's hard but I'll get there. And so will you.

Now, friends, let's write something new!