I’ve been writing screenplays for quite a number of years, but only in the past, say five to six have I shown some significant improvement.
More than a few readers who’ve read my last three scripts have commented that each one displays a step up in quality a compared to its predecessor. Which is very nice to hear.
Feeling pretty confident in my skills and material, I submitted some of them to a few of the high-profile contests (or at least the ones that really matter). The results were less than encouraging. Don’t get me wrong. Top 15 percent in the Nicholl is nice, but it’s still falling short of expectations.
You can have the most incredible script you’ve ever written, enter it in a contest, and chances are it might still go nowhere. Contests are just one way in.
But I digress.
I figured there was nothing more that could be done with the scripts, so I might as well file them away and move on, using them for occasional query letters.
While my scripts may not be similar to those that win contests (can you imagine me writing a coming-of-age story set in 70s Reno?), they’re still fun, entertaining reads, and my passion and enthusiasm for them continue to burn strong and bright.
Like with my writing skills, they’re good, but can still be better.
That’s why I’ve decided to do what I can to make that actually happen. I’ve already gotten several sets of notes on some of my scripts, and most mention the same issues, along with some potential fixes.
As always, I have the luxury of picking and choosing which suggestions to implement, and I sincerely hope the end result is a collection of scripts of decidedly higher quality.
It’s been quite an effort for me to get my writing to get to the level it is now, and spending a little more time on trying to make it better will be definitely worth the effort.
3 thoughts on “I’m here, but need to be up there”
Scriptwriting is a craft in my estimation and you learn as you go. A top placement in a top contest is an acknowledgment of skill at the craft that has progressed, but there are no uniform lenses that allow readers to assess your work uniformly, each one filters based on his or her dictates. It appears much more subliminal with a plethora of idiosyncratic preferences at play. Subtext, reversals, etc. and other techniques demonstrate a proficiency but a reader might reject a script for any number of reasons. It seems to me that rewrites polish the stone but few agree on what constitutes a true gem.
You are where I’d like to be -confident in their work. You’ve come a long ways in just months. With how you talk about your writing. Enthusiasm and determination can get a script sold. That’s what is missing from mine and the backbone to send out a query. I’ve read so many reports on the robbery of determination after sending out queries only a couple of hundred times. Haha. I will , I keep telling myself. It’s the non belief in my query that stops me. Good that you got around it.
Confidence in oneself is part of it. Accepting that it’s going to be a very tough journey and always being willing and eager to keep pushing forward is another. You can do it.