It follows that writer-director Ryan Murphy's debut feature, Running With Scissors is founded in actual events. After all, the Nip/Tuck creator spent years as a journalist, writing for dozens of publications from the Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald, to Entertainment Weekly. Rather than make up the story for his first film, he based it on the tragic-comic 2001 memoir by then-first-time author, Augusten Burroughs. The book is the eminently singular chronicle of an off-kilter childhood that included being dropped off by his mother to live with her psychiatrist's family.Annette Bening in Running With Scissors, written and directed by Ryan Murphy from the book by Augusten Burroughs.
How disciplined of a writer are you?
Very. Because I used to be a journalist, I was never allowed the benefit of writer's block. I'd have to write three stories a day, so that's never been a problem. You know, I think I had done 30 drafts of Running With Scissors before Annette read it. I work with a writer's group, and we meet once a week, and I'd go and they'd say, “Do it again.” It went on forever. It was complicated, and it took me a while to get it right. Some of the Nip/Tuck episodes just came out letter-perfect, so it just depends. This piece was a struggle because I had to be responsible to someone's life, and I was very particular with it. Plus it's such a weird story.