Other Cool Blogs: Media Chomp

Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

2023 saw many things, one of them being the writer’s strike and the actor’s strike fighting for the rights of creators against studios wanting to use “AI” to replace the costly background work. They wanted to scan an actor once, pay that actor, the make-up artist, and the costumer for one day, and then use the image in perpetuity. The studios also wanted to use AI to write the base for screenplays of movies and television shows, then use writers to tweak them better, playing them for the lesser work.

Sure it saves money, but at what cost? I’ve talked about how long it takes to become a good writer – about one million words. Same for acting, one million of other people’s words, spoken with your interpretation. Makeup artists and costumers also have to learn their craft. Using AI (and it isn’t really artificial intelligence, more like statistical amalgamation – artificial intelligence is about emulating decision-making) to replace the “background” mean actors won’t have a chance to learn their craft, unless they have the TIME and MONEY to spend practicing without pay. As it is now, actors knows that they’re most common line is “do you want fries with that?” But to decrease the opportunity to nothing will undo television and movies. The top 100 will be the only 100. And all those that support the industry – costumers and makeup artists – will likewise be unnecessary, since there will be no one to practice their craft with.

Writers … well, that statistical amalgamation of words … means we will have no truly bad movies, but nor will be have great ones. AI does the average. Like the actors, if AI is writing the “made-for-TV” movies, then the writers have nothing to learn on either.

Yes, the studios save money, but by gutting the entry level positions. The few ads for movies would be “Entry Level position for Named Main Character, three days to record script and scan body. Pay at Scale.” Just like the “entry level position, need master’s degree, part-time, temporary.”

The writers and actors, both separately and together, said “no way.” And used the only power available to them when the studios would budge, withholding work.

Have you ever wondered how long workers have been striking? A Cool Blog at Media Chomp published some memes about possible the first strike in (written) history, where the workers building the tomb of Rameses the III went on strike for better wages.

It really gets amusing, because first the management offered basically a pizza party to satisfy them. The workers responded with a picket line.

And workers have been striking ever since. Read to the end, because the cosmetics need indicates occupational safety needed to be addressed even in slave labor.

The cool blog is: https://mediachomp.com/ancient-egyptian-workers-strike/


Editing Rant: Down vs. Out

One common piece of advice I have given often is:
Get the WORDS on the PAGE. You can’t edit it if it hasn’t been written.
I’ve even passed on advice given by other authors along this line.
That being said, DON’T PUBLISH the first draft.
The first draft is just that – one pass. Nothing polished.
A writer needs to work things over, tumble the stone until rough edges are knocked off and the colors shine through.
One of my author friends reports that a current piece of advice is “better to push out a poorly edited book than have nothing at all.”
Really, WHAT?
The concept is to have something out there for people to read, to stumble across. Content, content, content. That is how people find you and get to know you.
Except the content sucks. People associate you with the suckage. Not.a.good.thing.
Also, this not only harms your reputation as a creative, it harms the greater community as people start expecting badly written books. Things out there just to make money.
Publishing just to publish is BAD advice.
To pull the two pieces of advice together.


Get things down on paper or the computer screen. You can’t fix things that haven’t been written. It’s okay to suck on the first try – you will create bad stuff. Everyone does. The object is to create something to fix.

Do NOT push out that initial writing. It’s got to be worked and edited.

Down but not out.

Editing Rant: “That” Author

Why do I do this to myself? Did a slush read for “that” author. You know the one you don’t want to be. The whiny “my story is great and you don’t know it”; “how can you reject it so quickly” (after I devoted a Friday night and Saturday morning to it), “you aren’t a writer so you don’t know how much rejects hurt”, …. etc.

I knew, knew from the cover letter, this one was going to be a problem. Why did I even ask for a full manuscript?

Oh, yeah, the person actually wrote three good chapters and had a great concept.

Too bad I will never read anything else from the slush pile from this writer again. Hope they learn (ie actually read the comments I sent back and use them – yes, I sent comments and still got a 20-question whine).

Don’t be that author!


The same day I got “Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to consider my manuscript and thanks for the feedback!”

Oh, yeah. That is why I do this. Because of “that” author. Be that one.