The Psychology of Scriptwriting (2)

Narcissus was a handsome fellow who fell in love with his own reflection.
Unfortunately, it ended badly.


by Jack Feldstein

THE NARCISSISTIC THEORY

It might be said that scriptwriters are those who fall in love with their own thoughts. And the process of recording those thoughts is scriptwriting.

This explains the intense anger often experienced by scriptwriters when their work is rejected or altered. If they love their own ideas then rejection of those ideas leads to a personal sense of feeling unloved.

And very few things make a person more furious than their love being scorned.

The very act of scriptwriting indicates that the person believes their thoughts are unique and worth noting. That belief of “specialness” is a classic narcissistic trait. After all, every human being has many thoughts. But only some believe those thoughts are extraordinary and possess great value as the basis for a film.

The very act of scriptwriting indicates that the person believes their thoughts are unique and worth noting.

When the world conspires to counter a scriptwriter’s belief system ( for instance, when a script is not chosen or changed vastly by a director or not recognized to be as special as the scriptwriter him/herself believes ) then cognitive dissonance in the scriptwriter creates great inner psychic pain.

Cognitive dissonance is defined as when the outside world is at odds with a person’s inner belief system. If that inner belief system is challenged, (“My script is special! Yet they rejected it!”)…then to soothe him/herself the scriptwriter must rationalize why the script was rejected.

Otherwise he/she faces much psychic turmoil and pain with the knowledge that maybe their thoughts aren’t special and loveable after all.

Scriptwriters often utilize phrases like these below to save themselves from great psychic pain and to protect themselves from the need to question the sense of their own “specialness”.

“ Those executives are idiots.”
“ No-one knows how to read a script.”
“Look at the crap they chose instead of mine!”

Often their narcissism leads scriptwriters to feel much Schadenfreude when another film bombs at the box office.

Often their narcissism leads scriptwriters to feel much Schadenfreude when another film bombs at the box office.

This helps scriptwriters maintain their inner narcisstic premise which says, their script, had it been selected, would have made a highly successful film.

-Jack Feldstein

Previously: PART 1 – THE AUTISTIC FANTASY THEORY
Next: PART 3 – THE ID THEORY


Jack Feldstein is an award-winning scriptwriter and neon animation filmmaker.

His rambling seemingly make-it-up-as-you-go-along, stream of consciousness monologue narratives have been likened to Woody Allen and Spalding Gray, but with an Australian twist.

Feldstein woke up one morning and began making neon films.

One Comment

  1. TV Series Forum : October 25, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    well, my girlfriend chose a Psychology major course and it seems to be a very interesting field indeed,’.

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