If your dream were to compose music, would you say to yourself: "I've heard a lot of symphonies... I can also play the piano. I think I'll knock one out this weekend"? No. But that's exactly how many screenwriters begin: "I've seen a lot of flicks, some good and some bad... I got an A in English... vacation time's coming..." ... The novice plunges ahead, counting soley on experience, thinkng that the life he's lived and the films he's seen give him something to say and the way to say it. Experience, however, is overrated. Of course we want writers who don't hide from life, who live deeply, observe closely. This is vital but never enough. For most writers, the knowledge they gain from reading and study equals or outweighs experience, especially if that experience goes unexamined. <i>Self-knowledge</i> is the key--life <i>plus</i> deep reflection on our reactions to life.