Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Be CAREFUL about who you let influence your REWRITE!

One of the things you will always want to be clear about is WHO you let influence your writing. EVERYONE has an opinion… but not all opinions should be given equal weight. Once you finish your script; have worked through all the tweaks and fixes you found for yourself you’ll want to get opinions from others on it’s merits (and weaknesses).

The most important thing you should remember about feedback from others is you often get what you ask for. Most new writers start with the question ‘ WHAT do you think?” We’re afraid to ask for more. And so, you’ll often get answers like, ‘This is good. PERIOD!” That kind of feedback is nice… But not that helpful in fleshing out your script. Your uncle Arthur may be a great mechanic, but what does he know about movies and how they work?

So you’re best approach is to ask people who’s opinion on FILM and WRITING you know and respect; but don’t stop there. In addition to a hard copy of your script - give them a list of questions to answer that will provide PERTINENT INFORMATION for your next draft. The amount of effort you put into your questions will be directly related to the quality of the feedback you get. So think, What do you REALLY want to know about this draft of your screenplay?

For instance, is the OPENING SCENE gripping, engaging or off-putting? Is the MAIN CHARACTER and her/his dilemma compelling, charismatic or completely lame? Are the COMPLICATIONS the hero/heroine encounters real to the world they inhabit or pasted on for show? And finally, is the ENDING convincing and satisfying?

See what I mean, when I say that you get the kind of feedback you ask for? Simply getting solid feedback on these four questions should give you a good shot at starting your rewrite. For a more detailed critique questionnaire, write me at and I’ll send you my own script critique template for FREE. I want your script to be the best that you can make it and I’ll help as often as I can. But when you win that first important screenplay contest… mention my name!

I hope all this helps. And I wish you luck with your screenplay. Let me know when you’ve completed your script. I’d love to read your work!