Red Right Hand: CRITICISM
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

CRITICISM

This week's Scribosphere topic is how we each take criticism, or how we don't, who do we seek out to provide it, and what do we do with it once we have it, how we give it, or, you know...whatever.

THE NOTE NOT TAKEN

 Criticism is part and parcel of everything a writer does and I daresay more so in the scriptus arts. It starts with your first reader and never, ever ends. I guarantee you that long after Damon Lindelof is dead and buried, some jagoff will spit on his grave complaining about the Lost finale. If you can't take criticism, then get out now. You do not have what it takes. Pack up. Go home.

I'm here to tell you, though, that you don't have to take any criticism. You can pick and choose. Ultimately, you have to do what feels right. You have to consider your source. Do they know what they're talking about? Does it matter if they do?

I put my early draft readers into two categories, industry and not-industry (i.e. the average viewer). There are advantages to each. The industry reader may have notes that come out of a jaded place or a rule they had drilled into them at some point (though usually with good reason). The regular guy may not be articulate at identifying problems, but is likely to be trustworthy on issues of clarity because they aren't intimately familiar with the beast of scripting.  I let each criticism carry its due weight and then make my decision as to which notes, if any, I'll disregard.

Disregard, though, at your peril. Each time you make that call, recognize that it may be a bad call and that you are prepared to make a mistake that might well sink your script. Every note is a bump in the road and remember, you built this car yourself.


Attn: Scribospherians, email suggestions for the next week's topic to me by 10/12. Pick will be made on 10/13
©2017 Michael Patrick Sullivan