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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The power of numbers

So, I attended my first official meeting of a writer's group last night - actually, my first writer's group ever.

And, all-in-all, I have to say that It was a pretty kickass experience. We all sat around, drank some beers, ate some good grub and talked - sometimes about our stories, sometimes not.

I brought both of my short film scripts with me - 'Next-Gen' my old one and 'Off The Clock' my new one. Once in front of them, they read through my scripts with an eagerness usually reserved for my mom - though I have to say they were alot more critical (in a good way).

One thing that these gals (and guys) have down is their sense of structure, being able to say 'what' that 'something' is when 'something' is missing.

'Next Gen' went over well but ultimately the twist that I'd put in didn't work - it wasn't picked up by anyone who read it. So, I think I'm going to have to redo that one somehow - I'm not quite sure how to make it more clear just yet, but I'll put some brainwaves to work on it anyway.

The good news is that 'Off The Clock' was a hit!! Everyone who read it enjoyed it and thought it was pretty funny. The only criticisms that came out of that one was that I needed to describe the main character a bit better and add a bit more of an oomph to my ending - both of which were done by the time I got home. I'm pretty excited that it went over so well, it really is an interesting step for me 'cause I've always felt that comedy's not been one of my strong points as a writer. Will I be able to do it again? Who knows... but it's cool to have made something that other - unbiased - people think is funny.

But of course the night wasn't all about me :P

We went over an outline that Geoff shared with us - a pretty interesting setup, it had a lot of great imagery in it. The only problem I found, as I talked to him and as he explained what he wanted for his story, was that he killed off his main Antagonist in the 2nd Act - and not by the Protagonist either.

As I listened to him I could tell that he'd put SO much work into the back story - about why these two characters hate one another, family histories and such - but then to have the bad guy killed off by another element... well, it just seemed unsatisfying to me. Other than that, it sounds like he's got a great idea on his hands.

One thing I really enjoyed about the experience was the level of openness that existed - everyone talked about each others concepts and where they were weak and where they were strong. Yet no one got defensive or hurt, there seemed to be this great level of basic respect at the table, like we all knew we were there to try and help each other.

As a guy who didn't even KNOW any other writers until a couple years ago, it was a pretty awesome experience.

I really want to thank Cherelle (a fellow horror writer and all-round kick-ass person) for bringing me into the fold, it was a great time and I can't wait to see everyone again next month.

As for the CFC... still nothin'.

Oh well.



Elize said...

Finding a good group is hard work, but it's awesome you found one. I still need to tackle getting something together out here. :)

And yeah, I'm still waiting, too. Hopeful though.

Peter said...

Got an email from Ivy Oldford this morning, seems like the CFC will be contacting people for interviews in the next two weeks.

Until then no news is good news!