Last night I received my Bluecat feedback about five minutes before I had planned on going to bed. The bad news is I didn’t get to sleep until nearly three hours later, but the good news is that it’s because I was excited about the feedback. It gave me enough to constructive criticism that I think I can make some strong improvements without making drastic changes, and it was positive enough that I feel buoyed up.
Working on myriad projects without a concrete path for getting them into the hands of the public can be a little soul-crushing at times. I think it’s especially hard for screenwriters since we’re writing for a medium that requires so much more than just getting the words down on paper. The feedback was basically a message saying, “It’s OK to hope.”
The main reason I entered the Bluecat competition was to get some outside feedback on my screenplay from someone who wasn’t a friend or a family member—and also from someone versed in reading screenplays. As much as I love Kansas City, it’s not exactly a haven for aspiring screenwriters. In fact, I’m only acquainted with one other who’s actively working toward the goal. So, if there are any other screenwriters in the area, drop me a comment.
That one other is currently in the midst of waiting on script critiques from her friends, colleagues and fearless Screnzy MLs (namely, me). And in the future, I think I’m going to steal her critique system. She’s set up a facebook group for all the readers and has given us a month to cover four areas of critique:
- Week 1: Story
- Week 2: Characters
- Week 3: Dialogue
- Week 4: The Ending (which is a specific story aspect on which she wants help)
Then, to cap it all off, she’s invited us to her house for a wrap party as a reward. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. She’s been very good about laying out exactly what she’s looking for from her readers (as well as some general advice about how to read screenplays), which is something at which I’ve probably failed miserably. I think it’s kind of like handing someone a map of a foreign country in a foreign language and saying, “See you on the other side! Let me know how the trip goes!” Not all that helpful.
So, firstly, to the few people who have been so kind as to read my screenplay(s) with little to no direction, thank you for braving that rocky landscape with barely any direction from me. Secondly, I’m putting out my second call for volunteers (third if you count Matt’s plea on my behalf). I promise I’ll give you a decent map in English with step-by-step directions this time. I can’t promise a party at my house, but I will come up with some sort of reward to make it worth your while (other than the karmic benefits of helping a struggling writer achieve her dreams, of course).