Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Showin' off...

Zeke's showing off a little...and Carli's letting him. They moved a scene to earlier in the script, and even though it doesn't make logical sense, it feels right there. That's usually when I turn to granite -- when I feel right about something in the story. Once that happens, not even God could get me to change it.

I ran into that with my family script, Bugzters. When I did the first draft, it wasn't great but I liked the relationships of the characters, and I intensified that on the second draft. But then, despite my better judgement, I was talked into minimizing one major character, and it hurt the script. So I decided, Never again.

Sure enough, I kept getting hit with ideas for my scripts to "make them better," meaning make them different and more like someone else would write them. If I wasn't sure about the script, I'd try out the ideas. But if I knew I had it right, I wouldn't.

Then I agreed to change Bugzters into an animated script, and tried very hard to put my ego and absoluteness aside. And I did good...until I was asked to get rid of another major character and blend her aspects in with the lead kid's. I wouldn't. No, it wasn't that I wouldn't, I couldn't. Period. I didn't just refuse; I got angry.

For all the good that did. I had to give the script up, because when I first wrote Bugzters, I was paid for it. Legally, I had no rights to it. That was six years ago...almost six years.  And it hasn't even been bought, yet, let alone made. No one else wants it...because the people who own it don't believe it in.

This is what solidified in my mind that if a producer doesn't want your work as it is, he or she won't gain respect for the project if you make free changes for them. If they give you notes and you do what they want -- something I was instinctually refusing to do -- they still won't be happy with it. The only way to get your work through the wasteland of cowardice populated by producers is to find one who believes in your work so much, they won't want you to change a word and will fight to keep it as is.

It's not the quality of the work that matters, anymore; it's the passion of the people involved. And if you don't feel passionate and confident in your work or what projects you want to make, why should the money guy? He wants to be reassured, not shown that no one else feels all that strongly about the project, either.

Wish I'd figured this out a couple decades ago; I might not have wasted so much of my life.

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