In the seven months since I started this blog I have written two feature length scripts and a short. Every time I sit down to make a new post the guilt strikes me hard. If I have time to blog, then I have time to work on a script. Time is such an invaluable and hard to come by commodity for me the latter usually wins out. So it’s not to say that the time away from blogging hasn’t been productive, it very much has been. I started this blog as a means to hold myself publicly accountable towards my writing goals. While that’s still a focus, I think I need to use this medium as an outlet to work through writing blocks, brainstorm ideas, and basically just bitch about things that bother me. So here’s the latest.
I think I’ve gotten pretty good at the networking game via Twitter. I’ve made some strong, positive connections with more experienced and established writers than I. Some have even offered to give me notes on my latest script. So here comes my two cents on the consultant debate…while I didn’t like HOW the anti-consultants presented their position, I do agree with them when it comes to seeking someone’s professional advice and criticism. I don’t believe you can pay someone money for their honest opinion. Human bias just doesn’t work like that. @jwillis81 got things going with a twitter rant that spoke volumes to me. He mentions times as a consultant when he what he really wanted to do was to tell the writer to kill the story or idea, abandon or rework it completely. But these were PAYING customers and he felt BAD taking their money to NOT be honest with them.
I believe I experienced this exact scenario when I entered the @bluecatpictures screenplay contest. I choose Bluecat because it was relatively cheaper than other contests and they provided feedback. When the feedback came it was the first time I had ever put myself out there for others to critique. And the feedback was GOOD. I compared what I received with the examples provided on the Bluecat website and mine was on the positive side. The reviewer had more GOOD things to say than NEGATIVE. So I was a little more than disappointed when I didn’t make the top ten percent. How could I receive such affirming feedback and then not be one of four hundred DECENT scripts? 400! This was quite the blow and setback to the pursuit of the screenwriting dream.
What I realize now is those wiser than I, like @jwillis81 and @courier12 who are adamant about NOT paying for notes, are absolutely right. But more importantly, there are going to be setbacks, I’m going to be told no and what I’ve written isn’t good enough and that I’m not good enough. But that is ALL PART OF THE PROCESS of improving and getting better.
I recently got HAMMERED on some notes that a fellow writer provided me. I knew that the script was still pretty ROUGH and in need of a lot of work. But I couldn’t put my finger on what was needed. My first pass of her notes stung, pretty badly actually. But the more and more I read through them it became clear how spot on they were. Her notes provided exactly what I needed. I don’t believe I would have gotten such unbiased and helpful notes had I been paying for them. I don’t believe the reader at Bluecat was as honest and helpful as I wanted them to be…as I NEEDED them to be.
So I rewrite. And then rewrite some more. Because that’s what we do, right?
In the meanwhile, I am going to do my absolute best to make at least one post here a week. As always, please drop me a little note if anything I’ve said here has resonated with you even a little bit. Follow me @mcorcoran15 and everybody loves a retweet. Until next time…