Saturday, June 10, 2006

How Good is Good?

Not good enough. In this industry, or so I'm told, a screenplay has to be great to rise above the hundreds of thousands floating around.

Based on brief notes from the Writers on the Storm competition, which I still don't recall entering, my screenplay is good.

Darn.

On a scale of Not Good, So-So, Good, Very Good, and Excellent --

PREMISE: Good
CHARACTERS: Good
DIALOGUE: Very Good
STRUCTURE: Good
Not a resounding review which may indicate that quarterfinals is where I stall unless another reader evaluates it differently for the semis. Even though the quickie notes are the subjective view of only one reader, they say something I anticipated -- number of characters -- because every single non-producer who has ever read my screenplays has mentioned it.
EVALUATION: A well-written and emotional story. The dialogue is sharp and many of the scenes have a good amount of conflict. There are a lot of characters in this story, so at times it was hard to follow everyone, but you did a great job of making sure each character was distinct! A good heart-felt story! Nice job!
But that tells me either (1) absolutely nothing because it's relatively generic, or (2) that my screenwriting has definitely improved over the past two and a half years and I'm doing a good job of connecting with the reader. For me, "good" in this connotation of the word is great.

But, I'm just a cockeyed optimist.

Next post: How many characters are too many?

4 comments:

The Moviequill said...

I just recently suspended a multi-character piece, 12 characters (ensemble), boy was that a bitch to outline. I'd end up introducing the 12th character and be 30 pgs in, by then everyone will have forgotten about #2-4

Anonymous said...

Evaluation sounded nice. It's not like they thought your stuff sucked. Glad you made the quarterfinals. Now just win the damn thing!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Comments were encouraging, EC, but really hoping whoever reads it next puts something in that "excellent" column. If not, so what? Baby steps. (stole that from What About Bob?)

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Todd -- not sure I would have done that if I were you. Maybe twelve characters would work. It wouldn't be the first time.