I'm part of this screenwriting workshop at the Writers Guild. I went to a few meetings last year but didn't really commit to it. This year, I've been more consistent about attending and participating.
This past Monday night was my turn to get some feedback on my work. I brought in HAYRIDE.
There are three things I'm working on right now. CADAVERS, HARROWGATE (tentative) and HAYRIDE. HAYRIDE being the lowest priority in terms of urgency of delivery. My managers liked the first draft and gave me notes last year but I haven't really been able to devote much time to a second draft because of these other projects.
I was hoping to do at least a little cosmetic work on HAYRIDE before bringing it to the workshop, but I couldn't. So I was dreading the workshop a bit. My first time sharing work with The Group and I was bringing something with critical flaws that I knew about. At the same time, I've gotten used to people giving harsh feedback on my scripts. I was braced for it.
It shocked me how much everyone loved the script.
Most even confessed that horror wasn't their genre. They were just taken by the storytelling, the dialogue, the descriptions. These fellow WGAE vets, some of them teachers, all of them a little bit older... and I got them with a high school horror script.
"I was reading this and I was thinking, 'Whoa... this guy can seriously write.'"
"There are so many things in this script that I love, I could go on and on..."
I have never seen them respond so positively to a script. Their critical feedback was specific and helpful but I was wholly unprepared for how much every one of them was impressed with the material. Some of them thought it had sold already. In the entertainment business, it seems like everyone says they love your work, but it just feels like another level of validation coming from other screenwriters.
It reminded me of all the things I like in the script. And though it's my lowest priority, it motivates me to go back to it and finally get it off the ground.
HAYRIDE and CADAVERS. Two first drafts that I believe are pretty strong first drafts.
I realize that there's no one stopping me from advancing in my career except for me. The thought is simultaneously empowering and daunting. And the demons scream, "What are you waiting for??"
It is enviable what I have. I have a team of representatives working for me, ready to sell the living daylights out of what I give them. All I need to do is let them have it.
What's stopping me?
What am I afraid of?
This is the year. The world may end in 2012 but it begins in 2011.
Labels: Cadavers, Hayride