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



Or...maybe not.

Taking criticism and processing it is an absolutely vital skill in being a writer. So is when knowing when to ignore it.

I recently got a couple of coverage on a project of mine. They are not the first coverages (coveragi?), just the latest. The first several were all varying degrees of favorable, some with a notes to address, some not. I trust them because they are people I do not know, coverage is a job they are paid to do and they were not paid by me. The same is true of these latest two.

(I also have a group of people who have demonstrated their ability to not hold back anything. They are invaluable.)

Now, one phrase I hate to hear or utter with regards to criticism is "they just don't get it." It feels like a rationalization, but in these cases, it might be spot on. Both readers made it clear that they thought they were reading a slapstick comedy. They were so totally not. While there is some funny in the script, it's more dramedy than comedy and it's not even in the same zip code as slapstick. Nothing I do ever will be. But they managed to get that impression and never let go of it.

The first reader really just didn't seem to care for it too much. That's cool. I tried to glean anything I could from the coverage, but ultimately taste is taste. If you're not down with it, so be it. The second coverage however...this guy hated it with a rage generally reserved for Uwe Boll. And clearly, about halfway though, he stopped paying attention to what he was reading because he was having too much fun ripping it to shreds, since he got story facts plainly wrong. He was also clearly angered by the script refusal to sit squarely in a preexisting category. That may not make it an easy sell, but it is what it is. The most amazing thing though, and the thing that utterly destroyed this guy's credibility is that he gave it a "weak consider."

Really? A consider? After three pages of hate and hyperbole, wasn't a pass pretty much in order?

So yeah, that one...ignore.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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