Okay… after having read many poorly written scripts and conferred with said writers, I need to address a problem that is becoming a hindrance to those who truly are dedicated to craft.
Conflict null and void.
Most writers are protective of their stories and with good reasons. If you’ve spent years piecing together a plot, developing interesting characters and dialogue that pops, the last thing you want to hear is negative criticism. I’m highly aware that many people who are in the position to critique, don’t know how to do it in a respectful way. Giving feedback is an art form within itself and it takes a strong mind to stray away from straight to the gut negative criticism after negative criticism, especially if the comments aren’t constructive.
When giving a thorough evaluation, the idea should be to make sure you are addressing the needs of the writer. Second, break down the comments so that the feedback covers the essentials of Structure: Plot that contains conflict, characterization, dialogue and theme. Third, as the writer gets closer to their goal via (hopefully) several drafts, then it’s okay to start nitpicking so that authentication within the world of that character is not distracting to the overall story. Lastly, make sure mechanics are in order: format, spelling, grammer etc. That’s it.
Now, here’s where I finally address the trouble I have with writers who aren’t quite at their potential: They let their egos stand in the way of tailoring a story that someone would even remotely want to watch. The biggiest problem that I come across in weakly executed scripts: No conflict present. As Syd Field said “Conflict is drama”. If you have no conflict, you have no story. That comrades is screenwriting 101.
So to those writers who can’t take the heat of feedback… Like the old adage proclaims, “Writing is re-writing”. Get it?
Happy writing and don’t forget to had some conflict to your stories.