Honest Advice For Anyone Who Wants To Be A Novelist – Tony DuShane

Tony DuShane, Writer/Podcaster/Teacher: Oh, remember that guy Tony we went to high school with who ran around telling me everyone he’s a novelist? I saw him scooping ice cream the other day.

Film Courage: I was watching an old interview with Jerry Seinfeld (I think it was with Charlie Rose) and he said something to the effect where he knew when it was right to eventually leave the show [Seinfeld] and to stop being a part of it. He said “If I leave now,” meaning stop the show “The audience will have this thing where they will never have to say it was good and then it started to run out of gas.” How does a writer know for their project or their scene even that okay I think I should stop now because if I keep going then they’re going to be like yeah this kind of ran out of gas for me?

Tony: It’s interesting. I call it keeping everyone in the room as long as possible and just because we’re always trying to avoid conflict as humans it’s hard (sometimes it’s even harder) to keep our characters in scene when the conflict is just rocking and let it play out. I think it’s more important to let it play out and then get them out to the next scene of Okay that happened and since that happened now this is going to happen and how are they going to get out of that situation? I feel like that’s for scene work but if I was Seinfeld, I would have taken the money and said What 5 million an episode? Let’s go 10 more seasons! But he’s a stand-up comedian at heart, I get that. I’m a novelist at heart, I’m not going to kill the novelist in me to make a tv show work. He’s not going to kill the comedian in him to make next season.

Film Courage: But in the reverse, you had a screenplay that you were working on during lockdown and you wanted to extend it and do it in novel form so there’s been a reverse too where you realized it sounds like you weren’t done telling the story and you wanted…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk by Tony DuShane – Check out the book on Amazon:




Tony DuShane is the author and award-winning screenwriter of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk. The book was published by Soft Skull Press and the feature film, directed by Eric Stoltz, was released in 2018 and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. His journalism and essays has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Penthouse, The Rumpus, The Believer, and other media outlets. He teaches writing at UCLA Extension and his journalism has appeared in Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. He hosts the literary podcast Drinks with Tony every Wednesday. 




Drinks With Tony Podcast on Podbean



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