Dumb Questions

Not long ago at a signing, a reader asked me:

"How much of your books do you write?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I was wondering who writes the dialogue," she said.

"I do," I said.

"Really?" she said. "And who writes the rest?"

"I do," I said.

"Oh really," She looked at me skeptically. "Then why is Dick Van Dyke’s picture on the cover?"

I’m bringing this up because I had an eerily similar conversation when I spoke at a luncheon this week. A woman asked me:

"Who writes the dialogue in your scripts?"

"I do," I said.

"And who writes what happens?" she asked.

"I do," I said.

"So you’re telling me you write the dialogue, the mystery, the action, and everything else," she said.

"Yes, ma’am," I said.

"I thought the actors made up what they say."

"That’s certainly what the actors think," I said.

11 thoughts on “Dumb Questions”

  1. Hey Lee.
    Could you write me into one of your Monk books? You can even write my dialog. (I think someone up there writes it for me anyway.)
    Thanks. 🙂

  2. My agent once told me I needed to dumb down my books if I wanted to compete in mass market. I was outraged — I felt my books were quite dumb enough, thank you. But maybe they weren’t….

  3. The most important thing I discovered during my years in corporate, web and product marketing for companies: most people are dumber than a stoned dauchshund.
    Even worse is that if I had a dollar for every time a person with a degree from an impressive university (Stanford, MIT, Harvard…) said something indictating they had less common sense than a typical 19-year-old trailer-park welfare mommy, I’d have enough money to pay for parking at a Seahawks game.
    My personal favorite — Sam explaining why our company shouldn’t give away a basic version of our core product:
    Sam: If we give away a version of our product that delivers more than eighty-percent of what the market needs, we won’t sell many of our for-fee versions.
    VP of Marketing with Stanford MBA: But we’ll take over the market. It’s worked for Microsoft.
    Sam: Microsoft doesn’t give anything away without requiring you to purchase another one of its products.
    VP: Yes they do. Internet Explorer.
    Sam: You have to pay for Windows to make IE work.
    VP: I never paid for Windows. It came on my computer for free when I bought it.
    Sam: (Screaming) The cost was built into the price of your computer, you moron!
    Needless to say, I was valued for my enthusiasm and ideas, yet dispised for my passion and inability to “play nice in the sandbox.”

  4. “I used to think that actors made up their own lines.”
    “When they get to be big stars, they usually do.”
    – Dorothy Hughes (novelist) or Andrew Solt (screenwriter) – IN A LONELY PLACE.

  5. How do you keep from bringing a long stick to your signings and poking people in the eyes when they ask these moronic questions?
    I have so little tolerance for stupidity that would never be able to do what oyu do. I’d end up in jail for “assualt on a moron”.

  6. LMAO! What I don’t get is, do these people who ask these qustions think you’re just like a “front man” or something. You’re just there “representing” the show or books or whatever?
    I heart morons. What else would I get to laugh at?


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