I haven’t posted anything on here since I sent out my second draft for notes. So I’ll try to cover a how the writing process works in some detail today.
Once a script is written the author sends it out to producers, consultants, friends, ect… for notes. “Notes” is just a nice way of saying constructive criticisms. These notes can address any element of the script; story, pacing, structure, grammar, character, and so on. Regardless of what it addresses the important thing is that it cover’s not only what is wrong but why.
An unhelpful note might say:
Scene 6 needs to be bigger
Which is still fine if Scene 6 is a shootout, then you can assume bigger means more guns, and more explosions. If Scene 6 is a dialogue scene with 2 characters that could mean more characters, higher emotions, more grandiose subject matter, or a total rewrite.
A great note will read:
Page 1, when Luke says “Are you going to be ok?” it suggests doubt in his mind. That doesn’t seem very supportive. Something like “You’ll be fine” might expresses his confidence in her.
Notes can be painful because of your parental attachment to your work. You have to suppress the urge to take all these criticism’s personally. You also have to decide if the notes ring true. It is a delicate balance between being true to your characters and your story, and being a prima donna about your work. There are times when I will have to get the same note 2 or 3 times before I finally let go and make the change.
Fortunately, with each draft you tend to get less and less notes until everyone can agree that it’s ready.
Since I last wrote on here I have gotten back 2nd draft notes, written a 3rd draft, and gotten notes on that. I’m preparing to write a 4th and hopefully final draft.
I plan to keep everyone in the loop on the process as it develops.