Sunday, July 17, 2005

Baby Steps In The Playpen Or The Sandbox?


Yesterday I had my local screenwriter's group meeting, where a bunch of us knuckleheads shoot the shi... I mean breeze about our writing progress, process, and problems. We also discuss the latest films, ones we have viewed recently that stood out as being worthy of recommendation or the garbage we hold in our fists and yell at the poor sap behind the Blockbuster counter for our money back. Personally I find it instructive and enlightening hanging around fellow writers talking shop. Are any of you cats in writing groups? Tell me about your experiences and your merry bag of pranksters. Our group is called The Playpens Writing Group (which I recently discovered)and I hope you take the connotation as 'playwright and pen' not 'baby writer in diapers'... although after having my latest pages read, it made me think they were covered in ka-ka. Actually it wasn't as bad as baby poo... maybe seagull droppings on your shoulder as you stand outside the building stealing a smoke. Criticism can be hard to swallow, but if we can't take it from our peers, then how are we to handle a cigar chomping producer or saliva spitting agent in our faces, screaming 'this is utter shit pal, where did you learn to write, correspondence lessons from University of Pheonix?'We should all beg for honest critique. Of course our scripts are 'perfect'and only need minor tweaking (rolls eyes)but isn't it better to get as many opinions as possible? If you let 15 people read it and 13 of them say there is major flaws, doesn't that say something? And don't go say the 14th guy is a genius just like yourself and to hell with everyone. Q: How do you guys feel about letting others read your material in progress such as groups and friends? BTW, I am transfering the notes I got from my meeting yesterday as I found myself nodding more than once to some suggestions. My re-write should be a real page turner...