I decided to take the plunge and get a script consultant to check the first episode and provide, honest, constructive feedback. I was a little apprehensive after my previous experience but this time did my research and found someone I felt comfortable receiving feedback from.
It wasn’t pretty, as expected, but, I am not deterred – after all, why should I? The actual story is excellent, its just the execution onto paper that I need to work on. As ballsy as this attitude is, I have to take the advice to continue to expand, learn and better my creativity – its time to work rather than nurse a sore ego.
My background is writing groups in theatre so the scenes are longer than they should be for screen. I also need to be more clear about the genre and make the ‘world’ more obvious to the audience.
It reminded me of a Python interview where Terry Gilliam was asked what his scenes were about (when he attempted to write for the Pythons) he said ‘No-one could understand them, I couldn’t understand them myself’.
On a positive note, he did say… “This is evocative, original and distinctive. The two sisters come off the page strongly and are nicely contrasting characters. There is some very good writing, some very well-observed character moments. In terms of the characterisation and dialogue, this is very promising. You set up Celine and Lucy very effectively and they come off the page strongly and clearly as characters. Bertie also feels distinctive and engaging as a character. The three main characters are impressively idiosyncratic and vivid”
Improvements areas are characterisation and dialogue – this is something I have been pulled up on before, so very happy with that. Most of all I am so pleased he said original and distinctive – as this is what I am aiming for.
Plan of action is to charge forwards, read more scripts in my genre, re-work episode 1 and then send it out again for analysis. Next time I will send it to a few consultants to see their opinions to get a balanced view.
I can completely relate. I finished a novel about six months ago and sent it off for consultation, and got much the same response. Constructive criticism is always helpful, even if it stings a bit (and it did for me).
Thanks for your comment – how’s the rewrite going? X
Her review actually helped a lot. For example, she identified dialogue that would seem uncharacteristic given the nature of a specific character– in this case, a millennia old spirit. In his dialogue I used the word hell (as in, “hell, I guess you’re right”) too often, and it was a bit to colloquial. Since it’s a fantasy novel, I replaced the word hell with “Tartarus” (The hell in Greek mythology) and “Dis”, the city in Dante’s hell et cetera.
A lot of what she picked up were formatting and grammar issues, like identifying characters in a conversation to often, et cetera… I definitely have a better manuscript because of it.
Well done! Onward and upwards – sounds a fascinating story! Keep me posted!