There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees; and there are cities like Detroit that have to work for a living, whose reason for being might be geographical but whose growth is based on industry, jobs. Detroit has its natural attractions: lakes all over the place, an abundance of trees and four distinct seasons for those who like variety in their weather, everything but hurricanes and earth-quakes. But it's never been the kind of city people visit and fall in love with because of its charm or think, gee, wouldn't this be a nice place to live.
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But he could never be a made guy himself because of his tainted blood, some Sunset Park Puerto Rican on his father's side, even though he was raised Italian. Chili didn't care to be made anyway, get into all that bullshit having to do with respect. It was bad enough having to treat these guys like they were your heroes, smile when they made some stupid remark they thought was funny.
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At the bottom of the hill they came out of the trees to a busy street and Antwan said, "We cross here." "Ain't no lights here, " Antwan said. "Just look out for the ones trying to hit you. There's a nice-looking blonde-haired female human lives around here - any time she sees me she tries to run me down.
Ernesto Palmer got the name Chili originally because he was hot-tempered as a kid... Now he was Chili, Tommy Carlo said, because he had chilled down and didn't need the hot temper. All he had to do was turn his eyes dead when he looked at a slow pay, not say more than three words, and the guy would sell his wife's car to make the payment.
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I think any writer is a fool if he doesn't do it for money. There needs to be some kind of incentive in addition to the project. It all goes together. It's fun to sit there and think of characters and get them into action, then be paid for it. I can't believe it when writers tell me 'I don't want to show my work to anybody'.
I've quit writing screenplay [adaptations]. It's too much work. I don't look at writing a novel as work, because I only have to please myself. I have a good time sitting here by myself, thinking up situations and characters, getting them to talk - it's so satisfying. But screenwriting's different. You might think you're writing for yourself, but there are too many other people to please.
I would say just start writing. You've got to write every day. Copy someone that you like if you think that perhaps could become your sound, too. I did that with Hemingway, and I thought I was writing just like Hemingway. Then all of a sudden it occurred to me - he didn't have a sense of humor. I don't know anything he's written that's funny.
When you are developing your style, you avoid weaknesses. I am not good at describing things, so I stay away from it. And if anyone is going to describe anything at all, it's going to be from the point of view of the character, because then I can use his voice, and his attitude will be revealed in the way he describes what he sees.