Theory of Nothing? A Review of The Theory of Everything
January 7, 2015
Plot vs. Story
July 29, 2014
Show, Don't Tell - Goal Setting Edition
June 27, 2018
It was not good enough.
I always thought my feature thriller screenplay “Binge” was pretty good. I wrote it several years ago, and occasionally entered it into contests. It advanced in Austin and Nicholl, although never to the finals, and last year, it was a top 50 finalist in the ISA Fast Track Fellowship program. Not bad... but for someone who wants to be a professional writer, it was not good enough.
Recently, I received encouraging notes from the ISA Network. Their general assessment: not bad... but for someone who wants to be a professional writer, it was not good enough. It needed a little work. The good news is, I’m just the writer to do it! In the years since I wrote the script, I’ve taken several classes and workshops, read countless books, and most importantly, I’ve written several more feature scripts. In other words, I have never stopped working to improve my craft.
So I read the script with a critical eye for the first time in years. There’s nothing like some time away from a project to give some fresh perspective. What I found both excited me and horrified me. On the one hand, I still think it’s a fascinating story with seriously flawed characters. It’s easy to see why some contest readers may have resonated with it. On the other, well, let’s just say I’m much more aware of my blind-spots now. There were many issues and missed opportunities. It’s not hard to see why a more critical reader would not advance it. Now I don’t just want to advance in contests, I want to be a professional writer! I had some work to do.
Professionals know there’s nothing like a deadline for motivation. In my case, it’s my turn to submit a project for feedback in my writers group. Sunday is my deadline. Now, after a month of rewriting, I’m done. Well, not done-done, but done with the draft that I will submit to the group. Once I address their notes, then I think it’ll be one of my best scripts, perhaps even professional grade.