Sometimes, you get good advice where you least expect it.
I'm reading such a book, thinking: "This guy writes rude, coarse, even obscene prose, he's done some truly despicable things... but - damn him! - he has his story to tell. And he knows how to tell it in the most direct, blunt manner possible. He knows stuff. He's spilling the beans about writing movie scripts, and reveals how it's actually done."
Even as I often try to be polite, I respect frankness.
Even when it comes from Joe Eszterhas.
I'm reading his autobiography, Hollywood Animal. It is totally unsuitable for young readers. The book contains too much violence, swearing, bad sex and bad behavior.
However, he also gives the reader a rare peek into the life of the Hollywood screenwriter. His horror stories of excess, inflated egos and corruption have permanently scared me away from working in that business.
OK, I wrote a script once, but I'll never go near Hollywood. It's too dangerous. Eszterhas describes how several of his friends literally DIED from the corruption, stress and heartbreak induced by the movie business. He writes:
"If you allowed Hollywood to infect your soul... not your brain, not even your heart, but your soul... you became vulnerable to the shiv with which Hollywood could kill you."
If you are over 18 and have film ambitions of any kind, I can recommend you read Hollywood Animal. If you're not, take this advice: stay the hell away from Hollywood!