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It really knows no bounds, my Joss love

Transcription of this interview snippet on youtube, in which Joss gives what is some of the best writing advice I've ever heard.


The storyteller lives in a dark place. The storyteller lives in the urges that people don't want to talk about. He lives in sex and violence, on some level. At the very worst, he lives in the conflict between human beings that can't be resolved. It's not a happy place.

If I can't examine that, if I can't see with a predator's eye, then I m not gonna be able to write these strong characters, I'm not gonna be able to find the texture, I'm not gonna be able to write the people that are around them. So I have this dual existence, where I'm the girl running through the woods and I'm the thing chasing her. I feel that's necessary, but it also makes me sometimes very confused.

Writing, for me, is actually just pure joy. The only part of writing that's been hard for me, and it's been hard for me since I was writing stories for myself in my room at 14, was, how much do I let my politics influence what I'm writing?

If I want to write a fantasy, if it's a sex fantasy, is that all right? Or does that just make me a terrible, predatory thing?

When I say "dark," I don't necessarily mean "painful." I mean the things that people would like to keep hidden. One of my firm beliefs and one of the things that started Dollhouse is the idea that some of the things people would like to keep hidden don't necessarily need to be hidden, and one of the best things that can happen to a person is when they realize that they're not alone: if they have a certain obsession, perversion, whatever it is, that that's NOT what makes a person terrible, that the thing that they're ashamed of, that happened to them, is something that is best come to light.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
thank you! that is awesome that you transcribed it. i'm gonna put this in my memories.
Mar. 12th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
I love that picture of Joss in your icon. Yeah, he pretty much rules. And in this particular case, not just because he says "porn is fine," though, yay, but because, oh, damn, just because he's so freakin' brilliant and out there with his darkness and his politics.

<3 Joss.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 13th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
Do you suppose that's what was missing from DHSAB for you? Because the dual life that Billy/DH (hm...DH Doctor Horrible and DH Dollhouse, hm...) lives resonates for me personally, as does his terrible reticence to speak to the girl he likes, and as do all the stories he tells himself about how one single attainment will make him into a the "real person" he was meant to be.

I have yet to find that element in Dollhouse, but the notion of it being there makes me a little more interested in watching it.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 13th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
The absent center--that's the one. Classic example: "The Big Chill." Dollhouse is an interesting take on that idea. Caroline is missing, or, put another way, in Echo, there's no there there.

I think seeing Sierra being dolled for the first time was what made us sympathetic toward her. "She hurts," Echo informs us. The transformation to nothingness is painful.

Why am I thinking about Jubal Early now?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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