March 1, 2010

The Placeholder

A couple comments early on...

I'm really enjoying listening to the soundtrack to the movie Patton and the movie First Knight as I write. Jerry Goldsmith is a genius.

It's dawned on me that the "placeholder" truly is a staple of first draft writing. I've heard it mentioned on DVD commentary for episodes of The Office and writing for the TV screen is no different from fiction or biography in this sense.

A placeholder is nothing more than a quick phrase inserted into the mix to remind the writer of the sort of writing that should appear there. It's better than nothing because it serves as a memento for the half-formed idea. In The Office, it might mark the sort of joke that should go there. In biography, it's usually a subject area and chronological marker. One hopes that one will find a good quote to fill it out and turn placeholder into poetry.

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