Feedback is Essential – Writers need to be brave!

August 29, 2019
Gone are the days when screenwriters can stay home alone with their laptop and cat – now, we must be present; we must be actively involved.

We need to pitch our ideas; to skillfully express ourselves in writers’ rooms; and to successfully articulate our creative vision.

The whole point of creating screen content is to attract an audience. Feedback is an essential part of this creative process. It’s really important that your ideas are audience-tested at every step. Most writers will happily pitch their original ideas to their Uber Drivers – and that driver is their first audience member. So why does it feel like a leap to pitch to industry professionals?

Often, emerging writers tell me they’re reluctant to share their original ideas, worried their ideas will be stolen. This is an irrational fear – creatives have to be braver than that – if you’re not prepared to share your material and seek feedback – you’ll be stuck in a vacuum. Sharing your ideas is the best way to have them ‘audience- tested’. In over twenty years of scriptwriting, my idea has only been stolen once, and that was on ‘Postman Pat’s Special Delivery Service’. (I still hold a grudge!) But honestly, who knows, perhaps my idea was in the public consciousness at the time – I probably wasn’t as original as I thought.

Since launching my script assessment service business in 2018, I have had the privilege to read a diverse selection of scripts from both emerging and experienced writers. My role is to give critical feedback on story; identify logic holes; pin down character motivations and help smooth tricky plot movements. It’s a great idea to have fresh eyes across your project. These are some of my most common questions I ask my clients:

  • What can your protagonist do at the end of the story that they can’t do at the start? Make sure your transformative journey has impact.
  • Is your protagonist’s goal driving the story? Keep your characters active – avoid accidents and coincidences.
  • Is your protagonist’s central flaw challenged by their environment? Make sure their flaw also acts as a story obstacle.
  • Does every scene move the story forward? Why not – is it earning its place?

For more information, or to book a script assessment for your project, visit https://screenwritingscriptease.com/

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