Sunday, 23 January 2011

Finding a balance.

I have spoken about my experiences of constructive criticism from the screenwriters group I go to once a month.  I have sent another post to this blog about editing. Well I have had  good criticism from my group. There are some good writers there who really know what they're talking about, which sent me on my way back to my computer to edit, then edit and edit.
Hey I think I've found another condition to rival Writer's Block. I'm going to call it Writer's Locked-In Syndrome. It is when you are thinking about what you want to say and keep changing it, until it reaches a point that unless you release those words soon you're never going to be heard. Does that make sense?
So I've had my proof reading, and I think I've polished my script so much that any more polishing and I am likely to rub it away. It's time to submit.
I am so agonisingly slow. Goodness knows how I'd cope should I ever become an established writer and have to work to deadlines. But then I could give up the day job which would unburden me of a major distraction.
I know you shouldn't rely too much on friends for criticism, because friends have difficulty with pointing out errors or anything that as a reader they do not understand. The tendency being they only want to tell you what they assume you want to hear. But last week I thought, what the heck, and passed my electronic reader (which I had uploaded my script on) to two co-workers. The first reader, (Daspikster, one of my followers on this blog) is a young man who does stand up comedy in the Comedy Clubs around London, and also is writing some comedy himself. My second reader, Omesh has written a self help book, so as you can see I have chosen my readers carefully.
The upshot of all this was, I can honestly say is, from the feedback that was given was that they had been entertained. "I was laughing out loud" was one of the comments which helped convince me, my script is now ready.
I have now printed the final draft and will be sending it to the BBC Writersroom, in the hope that I can avoid the slush pile. Having had Henley's Ricotta rejected by them without any feedback, I have since improved that script enormously, but, alas, the rules of the BBC are that I can never send the same script to them twice. This is probably the reason I have sat on Fairfax Goes to Ephesus for so long, because you only get one shot at it.
The reality of the situation is that the BBC Writersroom receive, on average, 10,000 scripts per year, most of which only have the first 10 pages read, so I have to expect rejection.
My rejection plan this time will be to see if I can get myself an agent, who will advocate for me and try and get in that way. There again, I'm up against it as like the BBC, agents  also handle thousands of scripts and manuscripts per year.
Oh, why can't I be normal and do something else with my spare time like grow vegetables.