Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Notes from Underground

Notes. We all need them, right? The 'eyes' replacing those that cannot see (our own). The notes pointing out glaring errors ("He died on pg.3, why is he in the climatic scene?"), spealing and FORMAT errors (See what I did there?), how plot and characters are working for the reader. Absolutely essential for the next draft.

There's note-giving etiquette (don't rewrite somebody else's script) and note-receiving etiquette (be mindful the reader has taken time out of their busy life to help you), but have you ever considered how many notes are enough? How many notes do YOU solicit before sending your baby to an agent/manager/producer? The person with the power to DO SOMETHING? The person who will undoubtedly have notes of their own.

I found I solicited too many read requests this time out. It was awesome people wanted to read the script, and I thought, "the more feedback, the better, right?", but this resulted in excessive notes and opinions, leaving me the task of sifting through notes often enlightening, but also, in some cases, confusing, conflicting and, in one instance, missing the point entirely. In the case of the last note? It didn't come from a contemporary, oh no, but from a service I hoped would be the arbiter. A service I PAID for. This resulted in me feeling "noted out." I didn't really know my next move and had to take a step back.

Luckily I had one of my oldest writing buddies on hand, the obscenely talented David Scullion (why am I calling you "David" here, Dave?). The first person to read the script. He picked me up, turned me around and while he failed to turn me into someone new, like, say, Tony Gilroy, he delivered the no bullshit intervention required.

I'm back on track now. Applying final touches to the draft to go "out there" (wherever out there is). I'm really happy with this draft, I think it has addressed many of the valid notes received from readers (thank you, all) and a few of my own. 

Let's see what happens next...

1 comment:

  1. I don't pay for script notes. My thoughts on the matter: http://fatpigeons.com/2009/01/14/dear-john/

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