m_night_shyamalan_on_the_movie_set_for_unbreakableThis man could SERIOUSLY benefit from a writing group. (“Ehhh, you could probably lose the werewolf made out of grass, Mr. Night.”)

One of the more frustrating things about reading amateur scripts is seeing the same mistakes being made over and over again. These are simple mistakes that, had the writer had any sort of feedback community, they’d have nipped in the bud a long time ago. This is why writers can go 5-6 years without significant improvement. They have no idea what they’re doing wrong because they have no community to tell them that they’re doing anything wrong.

I also get a good e-mail a week from writers looking for writing partners. They ask me where the best place online to find a writing partner is, and their hearts sink when I tell them there isn’t one. At one point, I was going to create a Scriptshadow Social Network that highlighted and paired writers looking for partners, but it would’ve taken a year and too much money so I gave up on it.

Today, I’m going to solve both of these problems. You, my slug line slinging friends, are going to use the comments section to set up writers groups and find writing partners. The process for how you do this is up to you, but let me offer a few suggestions.

1) Tell us the genres you like to write in.
2) Tell us how many scripts you’ve written.
3) Tell us what level you’re at.

The third one is a little subjective, but it’s important, since no one likes to exchange work with people significantly below their level. So I’d suggest using my Screenwriting Rating System as a general scale. Keep in mind – and this is just in my experience – that women will tend to be honest with this scale, while men will rate themselves one or two levels higher than they are. C’mon guys, you know you do it.

Once you find someone you think could make a great partner or group member, contact them and trade a script with them. Lots of writers talk a big game, but there’s no way to know if their stuff is any good unless you read it. If you’re looking for a partner, you should really like the writing, since you’ll be working closely with the person. You can be a little more lenient if you’re looking for a group member, though. You don’t have to love someone’s work. You’re just looking for another set of eyes to give you feedback. As long as the person seems like they have a good grasp on the craft, they’ll probably be a good fit for your group.

Another reason I wanted to set this up was that it was a good opportunity to talk about feedback. Feedback is one of the most critical components to becoming a good writer. Not everyone has money for a professional consultation or is friends with a professional writer who’ll spend 8 hours breaking down your script and helping you. Agents and producers usually reject scripts with a form letter, so they’re not helpful when it comes to feedback. And while some contests offer notes, you don’t really know who’s giving those notes. It could be some 21 year old who doesn’t know the difference between irony and Iron Man.

Other writers reading your work, then, is your only real chance at getting critical feedback. However, feedback is not as simple as it sounds. It’s actually kind of complicated. There’s a little hidden language that goes on, and it changes from person to person. It’s important that you know how to speak this language, or you’ll have no idea if your script is actually good or not. So here are a few tips to keep in mind.

NOBODY’S MEAN
People are inherently nice (well, except for Grendl). They understand how much work you put into your script and how much you care, so if they don’t love it, they’re not going to anoint themselves your dream-crusher. They’ll look for any positives they can and focus on those. It’s actually hard to find someone who will be brutally honest and tell you your script sucks, so every bit of praise you hear during feedback should be taken with a grain of salt. How do you get honesty out of readers then? I’ll get into that in a bit.

FOCUS ON THE MEAN
For this reason, when you’re getting feedback, move past the compliments and focus on the negatives, even if the negatives weren’t that negative. Because the reality is, if someone says they thought your script was okay, it means they didn’t like it. If they say they didn’t like it, it means they thought it was awful. Nice people hide truths in between compliments. So it’s your job to read between the lines, find out what they didn’t like, and address those issues the best you can.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Family and friends are necessary to making us writers feel good. Writing is such a lonely journey, that there aren’t many opportunities to get praised. Giving your script to a family member or friend, someone you know is going to be supportive, is important for your self-confidence. But do not base any major script decisions on the feedback you got from family or friends. They are the least reliable in terms of if your script is any good.

EVERYBODY’S GOT AN ANGLE
One thing I’ve found over years of feedback is that everybody who gives feedback has an angle. And it’s your job to identify that angle and factor it into the feedback. For example, if a professor is giving you feedback, his angle is that he’s there to encourage you. So his notes are going to skew towards the positive. I’ve seen plenty of instances in “opposite sex script trading” (which sounds worse than it is) where one of the people secretly likes the other. Naturally, their feedback is going to be really positive in the hopes that you’ll like them. Even past history can influence script feedback. If you give a script to someone and they rip it apart, which sends you into a spiral of despair and lots of drinking, well, what do you think is going to happen when you give that person your next script? They’re not going to want to ruin your life again, so they’ll be a lot nicer. It’s your job to sniff out what the angle is of the person giving you feedback, and factor that in.

FIND THE MEANIES
We’re writers. Which means we’re insecure. We want praise so badly that we’ll do anything to get it, including deluding ourselves. We’ll seek out that guy or girl who has a crush on us to read our script, because we know they’re going to tell us everything we write is great. But if you really want to improve with your writing, you want to seek out those people who are mean (or, at the very least, brutally honest). The people who you know are going to tell you when something sucks. As long as they’re willing to tell you WHY they thought it sucked, so you can learn from their feedback, these people are invaluable. Because the truth-sayers are the only ones who are going to improve your script. When I give notes, the writers I like the best are the ones who say, “Be brutal.” Because they know that sugar-coating problems isn’t going to solve anything. Don’t look for Paula Addul. Find your Simon Cowell.

ASK ASK ASK
The best way to get true feedback is, after someone’s given you their thoughts on your script, ask specific questions. I’ve found that while people are really nice in their prepared post-read statement to you, that filter comes off once you start asking questions. For example, they may have casually mentioned that the characters didn’t pop off the page, making it seem like it was a minor problem. But when you ask them specifically about your hero, Jack, they get snarky. “I don’t know. He just seemed like an asshole.” Listen not only to what they’re saying, but HOW they’re saying it. Do they seem annoyed? Pissed? These are important emotions to track because they’re not the emotions you were hoping for. The more you can sniff out these problem areas through questioning, the better off your script is going to be.

HONEST FEEDBACK
The best way to get HONEST feedback from fellow writers is through a long-term relationship with them. The more scripts you trade with someone, the more you begin to trust each other, the more honest the feedback becomes. Just like any relationship, comfortability sets in, and you’re less worried about hurting each other, since you know that you’re both after the same thing, writing a better script. Let’s start that right now. Use the comments to find that group of people (or partner) who are going to help guide your writing through your amateur, as well as your professional, career. Good luck!

  • David Sarnecki

    I’ve never done this before, but I feel compelled too…

    FIRST!!!

  • BennyPickles

    Personally, what I’d want in a parter is someone who’s the exact opposite to me.

    My strengths are all on a macro scale. I’m quite good at outlining sequences and building structure and designing character arcs and all that. Basically all the stuff that needs to be placed down ahead of time. That’s where I shine. But you ask me to write a good scene, and I stumble. It normally takes at least three drafts to get somewhere legible, then a further five until I’m confident enough to show anyone. Then don’t get me started on dialogue.

    So, if I were to have a parter, he/she would need to be the exact opposite. Someone who can’t outline to save their life, but you give them a premise and they can write a killer scene full of action and conflict and tension and drama.

    For any good partnership to work, both sides need to think they are the weaker of the two.

    • Panos Tsapanidis

      But… by outlining you find exactly what scenes you must write to move the story forward.

      Have you tried breaking every beat of the outline to smaller pieces and then outline those pieces? Create a beat sheet for every little scene?

      • BennyPickles

        I’ve tried basically everything. That whole breaking a scene down into smaller pieces is something I’ve adopted quite recently, but it hasn’t helped completely.

        Just the other day, I was writing a scene that is basically the most tension-filled, conflict-ridden, awesome few pages I have ever come up with. It’s the scene the entire first act is building towards. It’s pretty much, from a technical standpoint, perfect.

        But when I actually sat down to write it, the whole thing just fell flat. All the elements were there. It SHOULD be brilliant. But it’s just not.

        Now, I know in a couple of months, after I’ve rewritten it countless times, it has the chance of living up to its potential. But, right now, it just reads like a five-year-old trying to describe their favourite scene from the Godfather. It’s not the scene that’s the problem – it’s me!

        • Panos Tsapanidis

          I recently read John Truby’s “The Anatomy of Story” and it has helped me a lot.

          When I tackle a scene I answer the following questions from his book:

          1. Where is the scene positioned on your hero’s character arc, and how does the scene take him to the next step on his line of development?

          2. What problems must you solve, and what must you accomplish in this scene?

          3. What strategy will you use to do so?

          4. Whose desire will drive the scene? Remember, this is not necessarily the hero of the story.

          5. What is the endpoint of the character’s goal in this scene?

          6. Who will oppose this character’s goal?

          7. What plan – direct or indirect – will the character use to accomplish his goal in the scene?

          8. Will the scene end at the height of conflict, or will there be some sort of solution?

          9. Will there be a twist, surprise, or reveal in the scene?

          10. Will one character end the scene by commenting about who another character is, deep down?

          I try to answer those questions for every scene I write.

          Of course, this method assumes that you’ve already answered more fundamental to your story questions like “what is your theme”, “is your premise original enough” and more.

          • Somersby

            Not to knock your system, but wow!–how do you find any joy in writing if you’re having to torment yourself with answering each of these zingers for every scene. Most scenes run from 1/2 to 3 pages. I’d be pulling out my hair by the time I got to scene number 2!

          • Panos Tsapanidis

            Somersby, I know what you mean. But I tried for 2-3 times to just… write and what happened was that I stuck after Act 1. I was lost.

            This system helps me break down everything into smaller tasks.

            Smaller tasks allow me to focus on the essence of the scene without adding to much fat in the story, and the fact that I tackle the small tasks in a relatively short time gives me a sense of completion that allows to move forward and not give up.

            Break your first act in a few big chunks and then use this system for each of those chunks and you’ll immediately see if this is useful to you or not. It might not be, but you don’t know until you try. But if it is, you’ll want to apply it on the smaller parts of a story chunk. :)

          • JakeMLB

            Honestly, I can’t imagine this approach being too productive. At a certain point in your progression as a writer, you should be hitting these points innately. And many of these points will be addressed simply by solid outlining — a strong setup and story should FORCE drama into your scenes.

            Where this might be helpful though is in retrospect, if a scene isn’t working, as a surgical checklist of what might be going wrong.

          • Somersby

            I agree.

            If anything, I see them as questions to be asked after the first draft, or used sparingly if you’re encountering problems early on.

            For most writers–or at least young writers–adhering to such a restrictive checklist from the get-go will ensure that all spontaneity and life gets squeezed out of the initial draft. The story needs to be given room to breathe.

            Don’t try to paint the walls and hang the pictures until after the house is built.

            You’re right. A lot of these elements should be second nature rather quickly–especially if you’ve familiarized yourself with outstanding scripts.

          • JakeMLB

            “…adhering to such a restrictive checklist from the get-go will ensure that all spontaneity and life gets squeezed out of the initial draft.”

            Not only that but it will prevent you from acquiring that innate story sense. If you write every script in this way, you’ll probably feel like you can’t write without it.

          • Panos Tsapanidis

            @JakeMLB:disqus , I use it to make an outline in order to write the dreaded first draft which always brings the procrastinator out of me, and then I use it to polish polish polish.

          • JakeMLB

            Sure, I don’t want to question your technique. Everyone has what works or doesn’t work for them. I just caution that one might become a bit too prescriptive and formulaic if working off a checklist rather than from the story. It’s probably fine in the early stages but at some point you have to break the chains of formula to truly create.

          • Panos Tsapanidis

            It’s not about questioning my technique (which isn’t mine); I just point out what I learn through it and how it helps me. It’s also good to keep an open mind and try new things before dismissing them.

            I tend to believe that we, amateurs, try to run before we even know how to crawl.

            I think a writer needs to know first all the “ingredients” of a scene and their purpose. Then, he/she can bend the formula, break it, turn it upside down. I think the same applies with structure.

            Unless you’re Tarantino and you were born to do it.

          • JakeMLB

            I actually agree with you and wasn’t trying to be dismissive.

          • Panos Tsapanidis

            Sorry, but I wasn’t reffering specifically to you, actually.

            In general, I see writers not trying to learn the basics, diving straight to writing the script, not studying the 3-act structure because “hey, Tarantino proved that you can do it differently.”

        • Malibo Jackk

          Can I assume you’re talking about how create drama,
          how to create tension, how to create suspense and shock?

          • BennyPickles

            Not how to create them, but how to actually write them. How to milk every moment for what it’s worth. How to send a shiver up the reader’s spine. How to make it feel like it’s really happening, and that it’s not just a collection of words on a page.

          • Malibo Jackk

            It’s difficult to dissect a problem without actually seeing it.

            If you wanted to post it, it might prove a interesting exercise in writing.
            Sometimes the problems are readily apparent.
            I liked the opening scene of MONTY (from AOW), for example, but in the first three paragraphs, the author hurts the scene’s impact by using too many unnecessary words and phrases, IMO. (And the overuse of “he”.)

            There’s also a book called THE WELL-SPOKEN THESAURUS which has 19 short chapters on improving writing skills as well as its thesaurus.
            (Something I need to pay more attention to.)

            If you post the scene, others might offer suggestions to improve your skills.

          • BennyPickles

            I will absolutely post it… in maybe a month or so. As the scene is about 30 pages into the story, and builds off of everything that comes before it, it wouldn’t make much sense on its own. But I would love to post the first act and get people’s impressions of it when it’s solid enough to read. That’s something I did with Glass ages ago, and found it really helpful.

          • Jill R.

            Sounds like you might have an issue with tone?

    • Brian

      I’m probably the opposite. I can write some good scenes, but my second act lags most of the time. I write thrillers, mainly and also some comedy.

    • drifting in space

      This this this this this this.

    • kenglo

      Yay…Pickles gettin the FRIDAY SLOT!! Congrats DUDE!

      • BennyPickles

        Thanks! I’m completely calm and not nervous at all.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Hey, guys. I am facing exactly the problem Carson describes in the beginning of this article.

    Answering Carson’s questions:

    1) RomCom, Action, Thriller
    2) 1 (yes, one)
    3) Carson gave me notes on my first script, and according to those notes I’d place myself at Level 2.

    Let me know if anyone’s interested.

    Panos

  • Stank

    Carson, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this post. I have been looking for a online group to pass scripts and ideas around with for a while now.

    1.) Primarily Thrillers (some with a comedic or sci-fi touch)
    2.) 10 (the first few are garbage, but I’d like to think the rest are pretty good)
    3.) I think I’m a 6 on the verge of becoming a 7. I’ve been a Quarter Finalist in Nicholl and BlueCat, a 5th place winner in Story Pros, and a Finalist in Screen Craft and Beverly Hills. I’ve worked to rewrite a low budget horror film.

    I’m sure there are quite a few SS faithfuls who are in a similar place in their writing. If you’d like to join forces and break into that 7 category together I’d love to join you.

    I’d be happy to be the ‘organizer’ of a thread of fellow writers who want to join the group and set up the e-mail thread etc if people would like that.

    • pabloamigo

      Stank, I’d be interested in joining this. Perhaps Google Drive might be a useful vehicle for sharing scripts/snippets?

      • Brian

        I would like to join this group, as well. Thillers, with some sci/fi some psychological and I’ve dabbled in comedy. 8 scripts, the first few are garbage. About level 6 or 7. My day job is in production and I’ve produced a full length feature that I am readying to independently release.

        • Stank

          Brian you almost sounds like my writing clone! I’ll at your e-mail to the thread and we’ll get this group off the ground. thanks!

          • Brian

            Cool, thanks for setting it up!

    • ChadStuart

      I’d like to join this group, if I can. I had a partner and have recently gone solo, so I need some honest feedback. I always seem to get precipitously close to breaking through to the next level, but something seems to keep holding me back.

      1.) Primarily action and thrillers.
      2.) 10 (solo) 13 (with my partner)
      3.) I’m a 6. With my partner we placed semis in Nicholl and Script PIMP, made it to the finals of Austin in 2006 and won the HOP at Scriptwriter’s Network two years back. We had several managers and we did go on a few meet and greet meetings. But, haven’t earned one dime at it, so it sounds like a 6 to me. I do have a manager currently for my solo scripts.

      As a bonus, I have done lots and lots of reading for various contests, so I’m actually pretty good at the fair and balanced feedback.

      • Brooke

        Chad-
        I forgot to mention that I’m pretty inept at Disqus. So just shoot me an email to connect: b.buffington44@gmail.com.

        Thanks!

        • ChadStuart

          Hey, I saw your response but it’s awaiting moderation before it can go public. I’d love to get feedback from women, especially since I’ve become partial to writing female protagonists as of late (might have something to do with my daughter, the little baby with Kermit up there).

          • drifting in space

            Female protags are the way to go, my man.

      • Stank

        Hi Chad. Would you be willing to post your e-mail so I can get you on the thread? Thanks!

        • ChadStuart

          crouch at cfl.rr.com (to avoid spam bots).

    • Jovan Jevtic

      I’m all up for a writing group. But must be a dynamic group. People commenting here and there, I’ve already seen that and that kind of groups never works.
      1)Thrillers, Action, Comedy, some Sci Fi- would like to write more SciFI
      2 I have written 7 screenplays. Placed top 15%nicholl, two semi finalists at PAGE, FLATSHOE, won a monthly WriteMovies contest.
      3)level 5-6 I guess. My biggest weakness is that English is my second language. I’m strong at plotting, story, structure, pacing, tone. Have to improve:characters, dialogue.

      • Stank

        Jovan, I think you’d be a great fit as well. Would you post your e-mail as I am creating an email thread for all of us so we can begin discussing specifics. Thanks!

      • DforVendetta

        Word.

      • kenglo

        Yeah, Jovan is good peoples….

    • John Bradley

      Doing a script with a cowriter has been one of the best experiences I have had. We both bring different skill sets and provide checks and balances with each other. The more people you can connect with and involve in your writing process the better. I have gotten some great script exchanges on this site.

    • Mike Caggiano

      I’d be interested in joining.

      1. I write action/thriller/crime.
      2. 9 screenplays completed. Only three of which I’d show.
      3. Probably a 5-6. QF in a bunch of contests.

      • Stank

        Hi Mike – Sounds great and like a good match. Would you be willing to post your e-mail in some form? I’m going to start a thread with everyone who responds

        • Mike Caggiano

          michael.caggiano@yahoo.com

          Thanks for taking the initiative. Looking forward to getting started.

          And thanks Carson for setting this up.

    • Brooke

      I am very thankful for this post as well. I’m replying to your thread Stank because I believe that we’re at similar places in our writing. My writing partner and I would love to get into a group.

      1.)Thrillers, Action/Comedy and some Historical Drama (just because we like it, not because we ever think it would sell)
      2.) A dozen screenplays, three pilots and a couple of television specs
      3.) Probably a 5 working toward a 6. We’ve been Script Pipeline finalists, Nicholl quarterfinalists, Bluecat finalists, Creative World Awards semi-finalists, Scriptapalooza finalists.

      My writing partner has also interned with Bobby Moresco (Crash), and we do a lot of reads for a working writer/mentor that we’re friends with. We’ve had a good bit of practice giving notes.

      If you would like the perspective of two female writers in your group we’d love to join. Email me at: b.buffington44@gmail.com

      • Stank

        Hi Brooke – I’m going to put together an e-mail thread of everyone who responds who seems to be around a similar level and I’ll e-mail the group with an idea of how this could work! You two sound perfect and female perspectives are excellent! Excited to read and comment on your work!

    • ripleyy

      If there’s room for one more, I wouldn’t mind being apart of it (only if there’s room, though!) Email is ellisrh(at)outlook(dotcom).

      1) Any Genre
      2) 20, 25 scripts. 10 never worked out and thus far, only one I’ve deemed completely finished.
      3) I’m a 3/4. I don’t really like the rating idea, but being among someone higher “skilled” would be great!

      • Xarkoprime

        Ripleyy what’s your e-mail?

        Late post, but hope you don’t mind! I have something you might like.

        Xarkoprime @ gmail dot com.

    • DforVendetta

      I’m a 6.7. I write Drama, Action and Comedy but all of my stuff has some darkness to it. This group is getting a lot of action….may have to break into groups.
      housey.d@gmail.com

    • tea_and_crumpet

      Stank,

      I’m interested in joining your listserv/email thread.

      1. Too many years writing an Anglo-Saxon historical epic / paying my dues. Currently writing a surrealist, dark dramedy.

      2. 2 full length features.

      3. 6 – 7 mainly due to meeting every Monday night since January 2005 in a local screenplay workshop/critique (which I co-manage :-)

      Our workshop members are committed to writing, and committed to showing up. I’ve enjoyed the rapport & friendships that have developed over the years in the workshop, and I’m looking to find similar connections here. (See my previous posts on SS.)

      I’m willing to provide open, honest, constructive feedback, in a positive setting, so that collectively we can improve our writing.

      Jeremy jburruk(at)hotmail(dotcom).

    • tipofthenose

      hello stank,

      been busy working on my own scripts in the last month, but I just had to answer to this post. Would really like to give a writing group a shot. My email:

      buchzumfilm@zoho.com

    • Susan Murray

      Hi,

      Long time Scriptshadow
      reader, occasional poster. I hear you’re starting up a writer’s group
      and I wonder if you would have room for one more?

      1. Interests: Comedy, action, adventure, sci-fi and fantasy. I love a good caper flick and am even partial to a bit of historical drama. I’m weak on horror and my tolerance level for thrillers.
      2. Credentials:20 to 25 shorts, some filmed, some not (I’m Irish, we like shorts, they’re all we can afford), Several teleplays, one feature, one other feature in early development stages with an independent prodco and an in-production web-series
      3. I think this rating system is BS, but a 5 to 6. I’m strong on character work and dialogue, less so on story and structure.

      Email: winganaprayer@gmail.com

      Hope to hear from you.

    • tipofthenose

      Hello stank, somehow my post vanished. I know I am late, but I would appreciate it if you could add me to the list:

      buchzumfilm@zoho.com

      1: thriller, sci-fi
      2: 6
      3: 6

      THANKS

  • pabloamigo

    Another Brit here. Would definitely be open to trading scripts and running scenes/ideas past like-minded individuals.

    1) Action/thrillers. Particularly with a fantasy or sci-fi twist.
    2) 2
    3) Tough – I’d say hovering around Level 4/5.

    Feel free to check out my Amateur Friday submission for this week (The Dark Parade) to get an idea of where my writing is at.

    • thebigdipper

      Hi

      I’m also in England and would be up for forming a group of some kind if you both fancy it?

  • Nathan Labonté

    Now, I’m still trying to get a feature written, but right now I’m into writing short films to complete with my siblings (we’re still (relatively) young). That being that, I’ve been wondering if anyone else writes shorts. Since there doesn’t seem to be a platform here for sharing shorts, I just thought I’d do it here and see if anyone has feedback.

    I adapted this short from a 4-page piece my brother wrote that I thought needed some fleshing out for dramatic impact.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3y-E8JDN8cmY0R5MFltVW1WRmc/edit?usp=sharing

    And, just for whatevers…

    1) Haven’t found a niche although I’ve tried sci-fi drama and drama;

    2) Approximately 1/4

    3) Level 3-4

  • Robin the Boy Wonder

    Last thing I wanna do is hang around writers. Those guys suck out all the marrow of life. Straight from the bone. Sheesh!

  • Robin the Boy Wonder

    I wanna join Grendl’s group…

    • A Tribe Called Guest

      If you can bring something new, ya won’t regret it.

  • Guest

    Now, I haven’t yet written a feature screenplay (although I’ve delved into it before losing story focus and realizing the mediocrity of my dialogue), but I have written two or three complete shorts for my siblings and I to create sometime. Seeing as there isn’t a platform here for sharing short screenplays, I thought I’d plunge into that murky obscurity and share one, hopefully for honest feedback.

    This is a short I wrote, adapted from something my brother wrote a few years back, that needed some fleshing out for dramatic effect. I realize that some of the scenes are unnecessary, and the timeline is jumpy, but this was the first time I really wrote a completed piece. I hope you can take a few minutes to read and comment.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3y-E8JDN8cmY0R5MFltVW1WRmc/edit?usp=sharing

    And just for the hooplah of it:

    1) Haven’t found a niche, although I’ve touched on sci-fi drama and drama
    2) Approximately 1/4
    3) Level 3-4

    • Guest

      This was my comment… I don’t know why it’s appearing as “guest”. Oh well.

      • Randy Williams

        You’re still a guest.

  • JakeBarnes12

    “These are simple mistakes that, had the writer had any sort of feedback community, they’d have nipped in the bud a long time ago.”

    Two big problems with that statement, Carson.

    1. You’re assuming that the writer will recognize the validity of the note.

    2. Even if the writer recognizes the problem, you’re assuming he/she has the talent/skill to implement the note.

    Reality is more like;

    1. Writer says you don’t get it, tells you the mistake was a deliberate choice, and compares himself to someone incredibly talented and successful.

    2. There is no number 2 since the writer hasn’t learned anything.

    This is why only 2% of scripts get a reader recommend.

    • Linkthis83

      “This is a major reason why only 2% of scripts get a reader recommend.”

      Can you please provide a link to your source material? I think it would be beneficial for the rest of us to see the other reasons scripts get passed on. It would also be nice to read the discussion that took place regarding the majority of writers who didn’t a recommend because:

      “1. Writer says you don’t get it, tells you the mistake was a deliberate choice, and compares himself to someone incredibly talented and successful.

      2. There is no number 2 since the writer hasn’t learned anything.”

      This is really useful stuff. I look forward to the link.

      • Ange Neale

        Not exactly a link to source material, Link, but this infographic did the rounds late last year (for anyone who hasn’t already seen it, it was at http://i.imgur.com/T22gGBO.png ). The scriptreader in question based it on some 300 reads. As the sum of rejects per reason adds up to way more than 300, it seems reasonable to assume many had multiple reasons for rejection. That reader recommended 8 out of 300 with 89 considers, which is just under 3% recs and just under 30% cons – not that I’m trying to do Jake’s work for him; I’m sure he’s more than capable.

        • Malibo Jackk

          Not sure this reader’s rating are typical.

          Have always heard agents, producers and industry lecturers claim that 99% of all scripts are bad.

          (2 or 3 years ago, GITS featured a panel of 5 professional readers who stated that they NEVER give a recommend. My guess: They didn’t want recommend a script that a studio might not like — and, thereby, put their job on the line.)

    • mulesandmud

      It’s the worst giving notes to someone who clearly doesn’t want them and doesn’t plan to make use of them.

      I think lots of writers start out working in a void, hiding their work from each other, searching for a voice or a niche or what have you. Eventually they crawl out of that cocoon half-formed and realize that there’s a social element to screenwriting, moreso even than most jobs. It takes time to break out of that defensive posture.

      Hearing feedback is a skill, just like giving it. You get better with practice.

      • JakeBarnes12

        “It’s the worst giving notes to someone who clearly doesn’t want them and doesn’t plan to make use of them.”

        But think of all the friends you make, mules. :)

      • Citizen M

        I think probably 90% of all notes given on SS get ignored. And that’s not a bad thing.

        For starters, a lot of notes are contradictory. What one commenter hates, another one loves.

        And writers should have faith in their own work.

        And they don’t have to satisfy everybody. Just the one guy who loves their script and has the power to get it to the next stage of production.

        • Somersby

          I once had a treatment approved by one of the gov’t funding agencies here in Canada. It allowed me the freedom to go off and write the first draft and not worry about having to pay the rent for a couple of months.

          One of the agency’s stipulations was that I work with an approved Story Editor. Hey, if they were gonna pay for it, no problem.

          …Well, until I met with her.

          She actually loved the treatment. And she had a whole bag full of ideas that (she thought) would make it better. She eagerly offered me a long list of what-if-you-do-this-or-what-if-you-do-thats…

          But none of her ideas had anything to do with the story I wanted to tell. She was imposing her ideas on a script that hadn’t even been written yet. Needless to say, I wasn’t too comfortable with it. So…

          I requested a new Story Editor and long story short–it worked out fine.

          My point? Sometimes people who give notes can get blinded by their enthusiasm to “improve” a script that they fail to see that their suggestions have little to do with the story the writer is intending.

          If a “pro” Story Editor can do that, then I’m certain friends, writers’ groups, and even paid-for script evaluators will do it too.

          Sometimes their ideas will be exactly what the script requires. Other times, they just don’t belong in your story.

          It IS your idea, your script, your story. You can’t satisfy everyone — but if, at the end of it all, you are the one unsatisfied, then what’s the point?

          Be appreciative for any feedback. But also be judicsious and wise.

          At the point when you are dealing with producers demanding you turn your “The King’s Speech”-like script into “Transformers 6″ (and they’re willing to pay for it) and you still haven’t paid this month’s rent, then reconsider whether or not being satisfied doesn’t have a price. :-)

        • mulesandmud

          If I feel that someone is ignoring my notes, I stop giving that person my notes. If I feel that someone is considering my notes, then disregarding them, I’m glad to keep giving. We only get so much reading time in this life; I try to use mine where it will be best served, either for myself or for others.

          Most notes shouldn’t be taken, but all should be considered.

          And I agree: trying to please everyone is death for a script.

        • kenglo

          Agreed…I’ve been getting notes (GAZROW!!!) and it’s a mixed bag. But if there is a common thread, you HAVE to look at it. You have to acknowledge it. It’s the only way to look at your own work and improve. Now, do you do a total rewrite? Do you chuck the story because some ‘got it’, but some didn’t get it? If you get notes and for whatever reason, the general consesus is that it sucks, do you toss it? Or do you try and fix what may be a hopeless case?

          That’s what I wanna know. As a newbie (six scripts, no sales) when do you move on to the next project? How do you ‘fix’ your writing? DO you try to answer everybody and adjust your script for everybody? Or do you trust your gut, make adjustments, get more notes…..?

          Just sayin’…..

        • Ange Neale

          Hey, CitizenM,
          I feasted on notes from you guys like Count Drac at a blood bank. Some advice was contradictory, but it highlighted problems and flaws I wasn’t aware of. So don’t be disheartened – your efforts were not for nought. I’d say 40% to 50% I’ve actioned directly and maybe 20% indirectly (i.e. I cut things that caused problems rather than try to fix them).

    • Nicholas J

      Jeez Jake, what’d you do, run over grendl’s dog?

      • JakeBarnes12

        Ha ha ha.

        Worse.

        I gave my opinion on his script.

  • Jill R.

    Also looking for constructive feedback — people who will tell me what’s working, what isn’t working, comment on character, story, dialogue, pacing, theme, concept etc.

    1. Comedies (sex comedy, romcom, family)
    2. 10 scripts
    3. High level 6 or a low level 7 (haven’t sold anything)

    • Matt Clarke

      See my entry above. Fancy starting a dialogue? I’d be interested in reading something, possibly have something we could collaborate on…

    • Nicholas J

      Sounds like we’re in pretty much the same boat for all three. I’d love to get a small comedy writers group going, and have a couple other people that expressed interest last time I offered the idea up on here. Shoot me an email at nicholasjwrite@gmail.com if you, or anyone else reading this is interested.

    • wlubake

      I’ll add on this thread, mainly because I’ve been in touch with Nicholas and he’s come across as a good sounding board for me.
      I’m a little less genre specific. I definitely classify myself as a concept-based writer, rather than a character-based writer. That means, I tackle concepts first then try to create the best characters to fill that concept. I view character-based writers as writers who find an interesting person, then try to tell their most interesting story.
      That would put me a little more in the Hollywood sellout category, which is a label I’ll gladly own.
      I have written comedy, rom-com, sit-com, thriller, horror and sci-fi. I have a weird indie script idea that I want to develop, but can’t wrap my head around how to structure it. In other words, I’m all over the place.
      I could use a group to help me focus my ideas and push through projects (rather than jumping around so much).
      I’ve written pieces of dozens scripts, but only about 4 to completion. Really only 1 would be a project I’d go back to.
      I’d recommend reaching out to Nicholas. Also, selfishly, I’d love a female perspective in my group, as I seem to gravitate toward writing female protagonists.

      • Jill R.

        Hi there,

        I write commercially as well, concept-driven with an audience in mind. I tend to write strong female characters, probably under-write some of the males.

        I have also heard from Nicholas — what is your email?

        • wlubake

          my handle at gmail

          • wlubake

            This looks confusing. It is wlubake at gmail dot com.

    • MWire

      This looks like a potentially promising group. I’d be interested in joining if you’ll have me. I’ve written 4 full length scripts. One made it to the top 10% at the Austin Film Festival and was also the featured whipping boy on Amateur Friday here at SS.

      I’m probably a level 5 – 7. It’s so hard to be completely honest when judging your own work. Which is why I need some outside opinions.

      I’ve shifted toward comedy in the last few years. Seems to be a natural fit for me.

      Is this the part where I mention that I’m a Capricorn and like romantic walks on the beach?

      • wlubake

        Also a Capricorn, but my bad knees make walking on sand troublesome. So close…

        • MWire

          Like two ships passing in the night. (Heavy sigh)

      • Nicholas J

        Have you sent me an email before? If not, get your finger out of your nose and start typing!

      • Jill R.

        Lol. A libra who prefers a stiff drink. What is your email?

        • MWire

          michaelawire AT gmail dot com.

          And a good bourbon is my drink of choice.

          • wlubake

            Ok, now I’m turning the ship around. Going through a bottle of Noah’s Mill right now.

          • MWire

            Haven’t had Noah’s Mill. Just read a review, looks intriguing. The bottler has an odd business model but I’ve run into that system before and have had good luck with ‘em. Would you recommend Noah’s?

          • wlubake

            Yes, I would. Same group makes Rowan’s Creek at a lower price. I liked it, but it lacked the depth that Noah’s Mill has. I just finished a bottle of Pritchard’s Double Barrel and actual find Noah’s to be a fuller flavor without the double-barreling.

            My other bottle of the moment is a little funky: Abraham Bowman Gingerbread Beer Finished Bourbon. Essentially they age the bourbon, drain the barrels and send it to a brewery who bourbon ages their gingerbread beer, then the barrels came back, and Bowman gave the bourbon another couple months in the barrels. You get the smell of the gingerbread more than the actual taste, though.

          • Nicholas J

            GET BACK TO WORK

          • MWire

            Yes boss.

          • MWire

            You seem to be quite the bourbon connoisseur. You’ll have to keep up the suggestions. I had a bottle of Pritchard’s (maybe it wasn’t double barrel?) recently but was a little underwhelmed. I like something with a stronger/fuller flavor.

            The Bowman Gingerbread bourbon sounds great. I’ll have to look for that.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      You sound like a winner, Jill R. Keep at it. 10 scripts, wow! That’s a great accomplisment ;)

    • SAD

      Jill, would love to discuss joining your group.
      1. Comedies (same categories)
      2. 7 scripts
      3. 6 range (Nicholl quarter finalist, Page Top 25 in Comedy, etc.)

      Looking to bounce ideas off someone working in the same genre, honest feedback, etc. if interested email me at stacey.davis22@gmail.com.

      Stacey

  • Matt Clarke

    Alright guys,

    Matt from Portsmouth, UK. Previously focused on high concept/low budget features but due to no money in Brit film, have now decided to take a the DIY route and go for whatever (shorts, TV, web stuff – who knows)…but also once a feature writer, always a feature writer…

    1. Previously written: crime, action, thriller, horror, sci-fi. Currently interested in: comedy, drama, rom-com, indie experiments, completely nuts stop motion animation.

    2. 8 completed features, all varying draft stages. I would only really show you one of them, maybe two if you ask nicely.

    3. A solid 6 but with characteristics of a 7. I’ve had one script optioned with a small indie production company and I’m currently working with them on other projects. I’ve been hardcore writing for about 3 years with an eye to write low budget British genre pictures – but only about 10 of these get made every year and they’re all made by the same people. Recently I’ve decided that – actually – I’m a bit sick of ‘Dark’ stuff and really what I want to do is create some joy. I’m currently outlining a few projects that suit this including a short, a TV pilot, and a bunch of features including some batshit stop motion stuff. I used to want to be Neil Marshall or James Cameron, but secretly I’ve always preferred weirdos like Jim Jarmusch or Bill Plymton.

    I guess I’m looking for a partner (maybe) who shares these odd ambitions but a feedback group would be right up my alley. If you think I sound OK, hit me up on matthew dot clarke2012 at gmail dot com (more likely to respond that way).

    PS: Other British guy – feel free to communicate, just wanted to open this up to everyone.

    • masteryas

      Hey Matt,

      My name is Wes and I live in Newcastle. I’d be interested in working together, even if it’s just trading spec scripts, writing tips and feedback from our work.

      My stats are:

      1) Interested in Action, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thriller, Comedy

      2) Halfway through my first script.

      3) Theory-wise I have read books by Carson, Syd Field, Paul Gulino and Dan Calvisi. I’ve read over 100 scripts in the last year. So I would say 1 or 2 on work, but Level 6 in terms of understanding.

      My email is wesjackson82@hotmail.com message me if you fancy joining forces.

  • Cuesta

    That’s a cool idea, but only for the guys who already written anything, not for the ones who are at the absolute bottom level.

    • Panos Tsapanidis

      You could start writing an outline. In fact, I believe learning to write a solid outline serves as a much better foundation to learn to write good stories.

    • Linkthis83

      I’d disagree. I don’t have a finished script yet but I’m in a group. I think breaking down scripts and having the ability to discuss stories with the writers is uber helpful.

      That’s why I try to do notes for AOW.

  • Casper Chris

    I would like to join a group with BennyPickles, Ximan and Grendl. They all seem like solid and dedicated writers with very contrasting personality types.

    BennyPickles = calm and analytical
    Ximan = passionate and energetic
    Grendl = a bit of the ol’ ultra-vio… eh… no-nonsense

    Please hook me up.

    I prefer sci-fi and thrillers.

  • carsonreeves1

    you’re welcome!

  • Citizen M

    Maybe you should add how many pro scripts you have read from beginning to end and commented thoughtfully on. Also, maybe name a script you particularly admire and wish to emulate.

    The more scripts you have read, the better your “feel” for what constitutes a good script.

    If the writing partners don’t have good critical faculties, it is a case of the blind leading the blind.

    • bluedenham

      Are you interested in exchanging scripts for review? I’ve a lot of respect for your comments here on SS.

      I’ve written 5 scripts and have 4 others in various stages of development. I’ve placed in the top 10% in Austin FF and Page. I think I’m a 7-8 now, as my writing has improved dramatically in the last year. I have not sent any scripts out yet to companies/managers, but I am a professional writer for business.

      I focus on sci fi action/adventure and one script is sci fi horror. My favorite screenwriters are David Peoples, James Cameron (don’t laugh), and Quentin Tarantino.

      I am reading both classical (WGA’s 101 Best Screenplays) and the Black List and Oscar Contenders. Just attended a class last night that analyzed HER.

      I know how to give good, focused notes, and I’m looking for someone to do the same for me. Geez, this sounds like a horrible dating site!

      • Citizen M

        I’m in a writing slump at the moment so I’m not looking for a collaborator. Maybe in the future when I have something worth putting effort into.

        • bluedenham

          Sorry to hear that. But when you’re ready, and if you need someone to read something and give you feedback, let me know. Smythdenham@hotmail.com.

    • Alex Palmer

      I second this. Studying pro specs very important.

      One of my new year’s resolutions was creating a word document I named “script reviews”. Basically, the idea was to read a minimum of two scripts a week and then write a review. The style of coverage similar to Carson’s: articulating my emotional reaction, then trying to elucidate the underlying reasons for it, what worked or didn’t, and ending with a score out of ten.

      It basically boils down to writing a “for-your-eyes-only” blog, and it was a fun way of sticking to my script reading targets.

    • drifting in space

      Just be careful or your script will be chock full of subconsciously placed cliche ideas derived from the professional scripts you’ve read. Happens ALL. THE. TIME.

      I do agree that reading them is very helpful though.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Look at all those Level 7 writers… that haven’t sold anything yet.

    • Matthew Garry

      Well, there’s obviously going to be a fair amount of bias there, seeing how the “instrument” you use to judge your own prowess is the same one you use to exercise the skill to be judged.

      To clarify: say a person only knew a hundred words, and they wrote an essay contained those hundred words. They might find it very skillfully done, because the instrument used to judge it (the brain) is the same one that was used to create it. By the brain’s own judgement it has exhausted its complete vocabulary, so the essay must have been a great feat.

      It’s for that reason that the latest thing you’ve written is almost always the greatest thing you’ve written so far. That’s why having at least three earlier screenplays is recommended so often, so you can look back and see the bias in action firsthand (“How did I not see that at the time?”).

      I think it would have worked better if writers were asked to link to a writing sample, or an online discussion about something they wrote (like AOW or maybe a writers forum). That way others can judge the presented work by their own standards.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        “To clarify: say a person only knew a hundred words, and they wrote an essay contained those hundred words.”
        People that wrote “zero” next to question 2 place themselves above level 5.

        “I think it would have worked better if writers were asked to link to a writing sample…”
        I think it would have worked better if the writers were more humble and less insecure.

        • Cuesta

          You know what? I’m gonna take your advice, and let’s see how much success I have (if it’s zero I’ll blame ya)

          1. Action. I almost only watch or read action. I’m well versed on the genre tho, from 60s Shaw Bros kung fu flicks to Danny Trejo’s Bullet the most recent.
          2. Zero.
          3. Over nine thousand.

          • Breezy

            Hahaaaa!
            That was perfect.

      • BennyPickles

        That reminds me of a great John Cleese talk about creativity. He goes over that exact point. And I agree with your last paragraph. I don’t feel comfortable saying I’m at Level X. Who am I to make that claim?

      • ChadStuart

        You guys realize this is only about forming informal groups, right? If a person inflates their skills a little too much, it’s not going to help them once they’re in the group. There’s no prize for this or anything.

        • Matthew Garry

          Yes. I wasn’t using “bias” in a negative sense but as the cognitive phenonemon. Panos seemed a little piqued at the large amount of writers who estimated themselves to be 6 or 7 on the Carson scale. I wanted to point out that that might not be due to hubris or falsehood on the writers’ side, but simply because it is hard to assess the quality of one’s own work correctly, assuming it was created at the top of one’s capability.

  • Al Mockler

    Great work on making the semis for BlueCat, Biff – that’s further than I’ve managed in that comp. Yep, happy to give robust and honest feedback for the same in return. Any more Brits want in? (the reason I specify Brits btw, is that my stuff tends to be very British – and often quite regional).

    • Bifferspice

      cheers Al, feel free to email me at BifferSpice@yahoo.co.uk. happy to share stuff :) When you say “stuff for TV and radio”, do you mean you have had stuff done on them? or you have written stuff for them?

      • Al Mockler

        Email on the way Biffer.

  • ripleyy

    I’ve been looking for a writing partner for a while, actually. I’m not really looking for a writing group, but someone I can bounce things back and fourth. To that end, actually writing this out is like writing a bio for a dating website or being in an AA group (I have done neither of these. Just saying)

    Anyway, I mostly write Science Fiction, though I do enjoy writing in other genres. If it’s comedy, I like quirky comedies. I also tend to have a wild imagination. My biggest strengths I find are my third acts. That’s also entirely up to you to decide.

    I also tend to outline A LOT so it’s important for [the person] to be interested in writing outlines as well. I am also looking for someone who likes to take their time. I usually take a while to figure my characters and story first before moving onto outlining, and then I usually take a week or two to mull the story over.

    Strengths and weaknesses: I’m quite good at writing action and I’ve been told I’m quite good with dialogue (though I do feel I can a lot better). I also like to have a well-crafted character but the double-edged sword is that I feel my detailed, well-crafted characters fall flat when I write them.

    Weaknesses is that I have always struggled with payoffs and set-ups. I usually work without them. I also tend to never be completely satisfied with what I write. Some may find that a blessing, but I tend to be overtly-critical so an extra eye would be great :)

    Writers I want to be like is Brian Duffield and Travis Beachham. I’m nowhere as good as those guys, but it does frustrate me how easy Brian makes it look.

    As for level, I’m between a 3-and-a-4. I have an great understanding of what I’m writing, I just sometimes struggle.

    Ideally, I’m looking for a partner who also like writing teleplays. As for feedback, I’d be honest and point out what is right and wrong.

    To make this easier – and separate myself from everyone else here – here’s four scripts I have cooking that I need help writing. If you like what you see, and feel like you have the strengths to make it come true, let me know.

    1. Sunday’s Cure (Post-Apocalyptic Drama): A selfish pregnant woman, who happens to be the world’s only cure for a contagious disease, uncharacteristically helps an infected teenager track down his kidnapped girlfriend.

    2. Shatterglass (High-Octane Action, Racing, Post-Apocalyptic): While the world ends around them, a group of people have 48 hours to race from Chicago to Los Angeles to be the first to reach the last ship that will save humanity from the apocalypse.

    3. Black | Echelon (Techno-Thriller): A small team, spearheaded by the world’s first A.I, go on a global manhunt after a cloud server – which the whole world is connected through – is hacked, causing unfathomable damage*

    (*Think Contagion and World War Z without zombies and a colour palette of yellow and green)

    4. You Are All That I Am (Suspenseful Drama) – TELEPLAY: A broken man’s obsession to reassemble his dead wife piece-by-piece – thus bringing her back to life – is threatened by the arrival of the new gung-ho sheriff*

    (*It was a feature, until I realized I could do more good with it if I turned it into a series. Reason why this hasn’t gotten off the ground is that I haven’t been able to plan the whole series out, though I definitely know how it ends – it’s just getting there).

    Even though I have said I want a writing partner, I’m okay with having more than one (not a group, but individually having someone to write with). Interested? Let me know.

  • Randy Williams

    I enjoy helping others with story ideas and visual elements. I tend to think quick, multi-layered, often non-linear. I’ve probably bugged several writers whose work I’ve had the chance to critique by my notes to cut cut cut! No higher than level 5 for sure, haven’t mastered that “character arc” thing. I haven’t written much. Two maybe serious attempts, not in my preferred genre. Thrillers are my preferred genre, sci-fi flavored, don’t take themselves TOO seriously. This is my latest, a first draft on something in that manner.

    http://www.mediafire.com/view/o80ltbbwbogrbpr/TypeSet_PDF_-_SHARE_SCRIPT_TOUCH_THERMO.pdf

    I’m definitely a better writer because of this blog, its participants = Level gazillion.

  • UrbaneGhoul

    I’d love to join up with someone or a group but feel insecure about my own abilities as a critic on other people’s scripts. I write in most genres, from romance, action, science-fantasy and period.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Much talent. Such modesty.

    • ChadStuart

      Do you know how long it takes to go from being an amateur to a professional? One day. Literally, one day you haven’t been paid and the next you have.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        @ChadStuart:disqus, yes, you are right.

        But I’ve also realized how FREAKING HARD it is to write a script as good as Sorkin’s. And taking that as measurement, I realize how HARD it is to write a script that that is about three levels lower than a Sorkin script.

        • ChadStuart

          It all depends no the size of each level, doesn’t it?

          • BennyPickles

            Someone needs to make a graph.

          • Panos Tsapanidis

            And the intensity of delusions.

        • Susan Murray

          So we’re theorizing this is a logarithmic scale?

        • davejc

          What? A Few Good Men only took seven years and half a dozen co-writers ;)

    • drifting in space

      This is hilarious.

  • http://about.me/danmulhall Dan M.

    Daily SS reader, rarely a commenter, but looking for more community. I’m in Brooklyn, NY if there’s any other New Yorkers reading, though I’m happy to work with an online group too.

    1) Genre Comedy. Some favorites are “Groundhog Day,” “Ghostbusters,” “Back to the Future,” “Re-Animator” “Cabin in the Woods,” “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” etc… and films like these heavily inspire my writing.
    2) Currently a little more than halfway through the second draft of my first screenplay. Yes, first. I write everyday, but have a full-time job and a wife. Been at this one since October. Have a second script I’m slowly outlining as well.
    3) I don’t love the ratings, but I’d guess a 3? I’ve read a number of books, including Carson’s, and taken two screenwriting courses.

    Thanks for this, Carson! Love the site, first thing I read when I wake up.

    • GoIrish

      1. Comedy also…loved Hot Fuzz

      2. A legit 1.05 scripts…I will see your “full-time job and wife” and raise you an “18-month old child.”

      3. 4…ish…I think

      • http://about.me/danmulhall Dan M.

        I don’t get this comment system at all, but I’m danmulhall@gmail.com if you (or anyone else) want to swap pages/scenes/scripts.

  • garrett_h

    That caption for M. Night had me DYING laughing!!! I haven’t even read the article, but that was golden!

    Stay golden, Carson…

  • lonestarr357

    1) Thrillers, Rom-coms, Action
    2) About 10…but, with a couple of exceptions, they’re crap.
    3) Level 5

  • Ben Kirby

    Yet another Brit here. I live in Walton-On-Thames in Surrey, looking for other Brits to collaborate with. I mostly write sci-fi and fantasy action features, and the odd horror. I’d say my writing level is 5 and I’m looking for someone to help me improve my writing skills.

    I’ve written ten scripts and trying to write features that can be made on a low/reasonable budget. So if anyone is interested in working with me or forming a group, then e-mail me at shogunx29@gmail.com.

  • wlubake

    I will say, comments have been down the last couple weeks. Carson certainly knows how to get them back up!
    Thanks for doing this Carson.

  • A Tribe Called Guest

    This is a good idea.

    Any writers that want to focus on sitcom writing? I’ve written a few specs to go along with dabbling in drama, and am currently developing a few original ideas, two of which have producers “interested” (so a “pass” is coming soon :-P).

    1) Comedy, hard drama, interested in trying sci fi at some point.
    2) 3.5 scripts
    3) Level 3/4. I’ve gotten feedback where I’m a good dialogue writer. Would prefer to work with someone that has similar interests in shows (SCTV, Kids in the Hall, Mr. Show, The State, Archer, Brooklyn 99) but different strengths.

    Cheers

  • drifting in space

    I’m a 0.

    • Linkthis83

      Is this to illustrate your skills with drama ;)

      • drifting in space

        LOL! See? I’m actually a 10.

        I also like how basically 1-7 are amateurs and 8-10 are professionals.

        • Linkthis83

          I’m pretty sure it’s a floating scale. You don’t achieve one number and stay there. A concrete scale for a subjective craft? But I don’t know. I’m exactly where you are. Although, I do want to give myself a 0.5 rating. Must be my male ego.

    • wlubake

      No, this isn’t for THAT kind of partner. This is for a WRITING partner.

    • Ange Neale

      Negative 3, possibly neg 4 here. Might be more hindrance than help.

  • http://wordsbyevanporter.wordpress.com Evan Porter

    I’m not ready to commit to being in a writers’ group or an official notes exchange, but I am always looking for cool people to shoot the shit with, talk craft, swap ideas, etc.

    I’ve written about 6 scripts. I’ve advanced in some contests and placed third in the PAGE Awards back in 2011. My script “Crossfire” was up for an Amateur Offerings about six months ago.

    For a while there I was writing a lot of action/thriller stuff but I think I was just doing that because they’re marketable. My heart is really in comedy, dramedy, indie, and maybe even some adventure.

    I’m also interested in other forms of writing — personal essays, op-ed type stuff, etc. You can check out my blog/portfolio to get a better feel for me:

    http://wordsbyevanporter.wordpress.com

    If anyone just wants to toss around ideas or talk about writing, email or Tweet me!

    • Eddie Panta

      I saw the blog… great info.

      • http://wordsbyevanporter.wordpress.com Evan Porter

        Thanks man!

  • jeaux

    anyone in the atlanta area interested? (comedy, sci-fi, horror)

  • Stephjones

    I joined TriggerStreet 4 years ago. Extremely helpful to a beginner and good exposure to the viewpoints of many. It works on a credit system. For example: I recently reviewed 2 scripts, got 2 credits ( 1 per script) uploaded and put my 2 credits on my script to get it assigned. It was assigned to 13 people. Out of those 13, 8 people reviewed it, 2 removed it and 3 are still pending. I’m not quite a beginner any more but am still loyal to the site. It’s a good place to go for free feedback and to connect. I think any sort of writers group has a natural cycle before it ceases to be helpful. It boils down to skill level. To get better you have to be challenged by those who are better so teaming up with similarly skilled writers can be a limiter. I think you can end up pounding the same nail. I was in a fairly large writers group for awhile and found it to be exhausting. I seemed to always be reviewing the scripts of others for my one shot. I’ve condensed down to a few honest writers that I feel are a few levels above me and am grateful they put up with me. I found them on TriggerStreet by reviewing their work and asking to exchange freewills. Thank god they agreed and we’ve developed trust and respect over time. I’d flounder without them.

    • Charlestoaster

      I haven’t had the same experience as you on triggerstreet and I’ve stopped going for awhile. The first script I read was from the MovieNerd’s Murder’s Creek which set the bar of what to expect. I was so wrong. Everything after that was a depressing to read. Most of the writers I found on there really didn’t like what I had to say or were very dismissive. Kinda like here! :-)

    • James Michael

      I totally agree. Triggerstreet has probably been the most usuful tool in getting feedback for a script – I hate giving my scripts to friends who dont read scripts but ‘like movies’ becuase they dont really understand how a script works and usually get caught up on stupid detalis.
      On Triggerstreet though you get actual writers reviewing and providing (for the most part) constructive criticism.
      For my first script I was a little over-zelous and assigned 20 credits too it, recieving only 10 reviews. But off these 10 I was able to re-draft 3 more times. I assigned 10 credits to my final draft and got reviewed 8 times with 17 still pending. Ive managed to write another 2 drafts based off these reivews.

      Off course there are people on there who attack and hate everything but you just need to know how to navigate through these and find the reviews that matter (us writers are very senstive people)

  • mulesandmud

    *MASOCHIST SEEKS SADIST*

    *Insecure semi-professional seeking
    overconfident quasi-amateur with zero
    filter and passionate love for crushing
    the hopes of others. Honesty mandatory;
    good taste a plus.*

    I think that about covers it.

    • Susan Murray

      I am intrigued by your words and wish to subscribe to your newsletter

      Misery seeks company: Rank amateur with delusions of grandeur and semi-functional filter volunteers to perform evisceration with a smile.

      • JakeMLB

        Sorry, he’s only accepting 7’s.

        • Susan Murray

          I am intrigued by your arbitrary self-reported scale and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

          In tribute, I have decided to self-report my level as level i

    • Stephjones

      Yo. Dude. You sayin you wanna be my bitch an all? Cause I gotta tell you…I got a little sumtin, sumtin for yo ass. You hear what I sayin n shit?

      • mulesandmud

        Heh. I really can’t tell anymore: is this scary prison talk or just modern flirting?

        • Stephjones

          Neither. That was Yolanda. She’s looking for a writing partner.

  • drifting in space

    If he’s in the US, he has to.

  • Linkthis83

    Thank you. I just didn’t have the energy to do this today.

  • bluedenham

    This is a great idea, Carson. Thanks.

  • mulesandmud

    Wow, grendl, looks like you topped 1000 comments this week. Do they buy you a cake or something?

    • Kirk Diggler

      One with a nail file inside.

  • Alex Palmer

    Come on, C. You’ve written some great articles in your time (GSU springs to mind). But don’t keep linking back to your embarrassing writer’s scale page. It makes screen-writing sound like some sort of cult.

    Or an RPG. Actually, that would be pretty cool:

    Alex Palmerus, Level 4 Paladin/Screenwriter, enters Costa Coffee
    RANDOM ENCOUNTER!
    It’s a Level 7 Producer
    Alex uses SMALL TALK.
    But his Charisma is too low.
    Alex misses a turn.
    Producer used PENETRATING STARE
    It’s super effective!
    Alex pitches his WESTERN/MUSICAL
    It’s not very effective.
    Alex fainted!

    • drifting in space

      LOL!

      • Alex Palmer

        Feedback ain’t going to cut it. The only thing that can help my script is a NECROMANCER :P

        • drifting in space

          I’m sorry I couldn’t help. I’m a level 0 after all. You probably had too many “we see” lines.

        • gonzorama

          Or cabbage.

      • John Bradley

        This sounds like a really bad role playing game.

        • drifting in space

          Just like my scripts.

    • CJ

      That’s a great idea! I need a +5 keyboard and the Shroud of Kasdan.

    • garrett_h

      One of the most awesome posts in SS history lol.

      Can I skip the cafe and just grind Hollywood Blvd and Sunset, leveling up by slaying homeless people? They gotta be worth 5 XP a piece.

      • Alex Palmer

        Extra points for bludgeoning them with a Hollywood walk of fame slab you ripped out of the pavement.

        Irony and stuff.

  • Ben Kirby

    Hi Al, I’m another British writer. Where are you based and what kind of genres do you write?

    • Al Mockler

      Hi Ben. Based in the NW of England. Genres vary, for film I have written action, comedy, comedy drama, and I have a kickstarted psychological drama script currently mid-production. For TV and radio tends to be drama, though I have written a bit for kids TV, and still trying to sell that stuff in to the Beeb. How bout you?

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Regarding “Can it be done without dialogue?”

    The book suggests that after answering those 10 questions, you write the scene first WITHOUT dialogue and use that as clay on the successive drafts.

  • ElectricDreamer

    Hmm, what contributors would we nominate to the Scriptshadow All-Star Amateur readers?

    • walker

      grendl, bohdicat, karlosd, Poe Serling, Benny Pickles, Jaco

      • Jaco

        Why, thank you.

    • http://wordsbyevanporter.wordpress.com Evan Porter

      Paul Clarke

      • Kirk Diggler

        He has been MIA lately.

        • Breezy

          He has been MIA for a while… When I just started reading this blog (admittedly not too long ago) I got used to seeing his review every AOW offerings, now I’m used to perusing the comments without even expecting to see PC posting.

    • Wes Mantooth

      Citizen M, Grendl, Poe Serling, off the top of my head.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Of late…. Poe Serling, Citizen M. Electric Dreamer, John Bradley, Eddie Panta, Matthew Garry, Linkthis83, Witwoud, Kenglo, Nicholas J are some that try to read a little of all five AOW entries. Paul Clarke would make it 11 if he was still around. And I’m sure I’m leaving a few notables out.

      • Linkthis83

        Kirk Diggler puts forth a lot of effort too!

  • Kirk Diggler

    Even though I love the subject of this article, the insular nature of writers (when it comes to their own work) makes this article a hard sell. Writers love to kid themselves, convinced they’ve written the next great screenplay.

    Then the moment comes when they show it to someone else.

  • Paul DeWolf

    If nothing, today’s comments are an interesting snapshot of this particular community-saw a lot of Brits posting early on-I’d be interested in connecting with someone across the pond regarding an outline I’ve written for screenplay based on a true story…

  • BennyPickles

    Woah! You’re still on here, Will?

    Anyways, it’s actually a new script I started in order to procrastinate my rewriting of Glass. It’s an adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin. And I didn’t make the mistake of hiding a character’s motivation, this time!

  • Charlestoaster

    Awesome. Can I be part of your group? I got medical, dental, life insurance, and chainmail made of silver.

    My e-mail is charlestoaster5@gmail.com

  • Midnight Luck

    Writing Partner? What’s That?

    • klmn

      A mistake.

    • Citizen M

      The daddy writer dips his pen in the mommy writer’s inkwell and they make beautiful little baby words that they love very much.

      • Breezy

        I am inscribing your words on a piece of art (a canvas) and putting it somewhere in my study when I get one. That was just too funny

  • JakeBarnes12

    What a shocker.

    “Post on Failure Rate of Guys Who Can’t Take Notes Angers Guys Who Can’t Take Notes”

  • BennyPickles

    I love how all the ‘established’ commenters are seemingly avoiding doing their AA introduction. But I kinda want to be part of a group. At least some people I can bounce ideas off of and have a quick read of a scene to tell me what’s working/what isn’t. Here goes…

    1) SciFi, Thriller, Suspense, Period Drama, Contained, British (it may not be a genre – but it’s certainly a sensibility)
    2) Depends on how you define ‘written.’ Finished? One feature, a dozen shorts. Got two half-written screenplays, two in the process of being written, and a couple more outlines. It feels weird being honest.
    3) No way am I answering that question. Somewhere between 2 and 6, maybe? Just check out the last AOW (and maybe – hopefully – AF tomorrow) and that’ll give you a better idea.

    • Linkthis83

      I believe Gripper will be on the docket for tomorrow. I don’t think you will know your fate until the following Friday.

      Good luck though. I was bummed I wasn’t able to read the scripts this weekend and give notes. That’s one of my favorite things about SS: The opportunity to interact with the writers and discuss their scripts. To ask why they made certain choices and to figure out what I might have missed while reading.

      • BennyPickles

        Is Gripper the forest fire one? That was ages ago!

        Also, how do people know these things? Or is it just an educated guess?

        • Linkthis83

          From my experience on here, the winner of AOW doesn’t appear the first Friday after, but the one after that. That’s how I’ve always understood it.

          And yeah, Gripper is the one with the opening scene with the forest fire.

          It’s Hollywood, right? Hurry up and wait :)

          • BennyPickles

            Oh, okay. Makes sense. There seriously needs to be some kind of schedule. Or maybe a newsletter? That would be useful.

          • Linkthis83

            Yes. A newsletter would be fantastic.

          • D. Bryan

            Gripper is on the docket for tomorrow’s AOW review I’ve heard. God help me…

          • BennyPickles

            Good luck!

        • Kirk Diggler

          And suicide by running one’s head into the sharp end of an ax.

  • BennyPickles

    I actually laughed out loud at that. Thanks!

  • jw

    I find that actually the biggest obstacle to any group is Location of the writers. I’ve been in a few groups and am currently in one at the moment, but most disband because writers can’t get to the meetings because they live or work far away. If anyone is in or around the following zip code (90277) and would like to talk about being in a group please just let me know. jwright226@hotmail.com
    Of course quality matters, but I have to be honest in saying that competitions are not a real indicator of quality (for me) and while I’ve placed in them ALL, I’ve known people whose writing wasn’t that great who did as well. As a matter of fact, I placed in the finals of a competition with a crappy rom-com I wrote that everyone read and hated, so to be completely honest, sometimes I wonder if competitions aren’t just really a shot at a dart board with the eyes closed more than anything else.
    In addition, please don’t talk about The Blacklist placements, as I had a 30-minute sitcom that was top 5 for comedy over on The Blacklist website, I sent it to a professional after a few rewrites on feedback and a producer saying it was “pretty much ready for production” and the feedback from this professional, whose name you would know, was that the person who read it shat all over it and it essentially wasn’t even ready to go to the Prom, so to be completely honest, I’m going with Goldman on this one that no one knows anything, this industry is a crap-shoot and a half, and 99% of people will not make it. Just keepin’ it real.

    • jw

      And, sometimes the universe rewards honesty when an hour after this mini-rant a producer called me and said, “I loved your script.” AHAHAHAHA Here’s to the universe evening things out! Oh, how I love thee.

  • Charlestoaster

    I would to be part of a group. I’ve been trying to set one up were I live for a while and so far no luck at all.

    Where I stand:

    Genre:
    I’ve written mostly high concept comedies but I’m slinking out to try all of them.

    Heroes:
    Douglas Adams, Billy Wilder, ZAZ, Chuck Avery, Marx Brothers, William Goldman, Satoshi Kon, Blake Edwards, Christopher Durang, John Carpenter, and Jacques Derrida.

    I’ve written:
    5 Features.
    1 sci-fi adaptation of “Mobile Suit Gundam” (For Practice), a horror movie I will never show to anybody, a workplace comedy involving Henchmen of a James Bond villian, a fantasy action adventure that’s a mix of “Romancing the Stone”, “Big Trouble In Little China”, and anime, and finally a contained thriller that may actually be a dark comedy.
    6 Shorts. Two of them documentires the rest are comedies.
    10 Plays. All comedies. One of them even got published.
    27 outlines for kinds of things including Sci-fi Channel B-Moives.

    Level:
    Orange.

    So if you’re interested e-mail me at charlestoaster5@gmail.com

    Wow this does read like a post for a dating website.

    • gonzorama

      It’s like casual connections for lonely writers…

  • D. Bryan

    1) Historical thrillers, Indie drama, Dark comedy, Rural crime, Eco/SciFi horror,
    2) 9 + 3 in scribbling mode
    3) 6

    Still cranking them out, still learning line by line. Canadian, euro-based. Sold a few, been hired for adaptations, worked with a number of Oscar, Cannes, Berlinale award-winning Scandinavian, US and Canadian producers and directors on multiple feature and TV projects. International network in film finance and development.

    Can only handle small groups 3-6 at most, interested in working with women writers as one of my self-proclaimed weak notes – amongst others! – is fleshing out female characters.

    Any takers?

    • drifting in space

      You just became the popular girl at school with those creds.

      • BennyPickles

        He’ll get a bunch of guys going “I’m a woman… at heart”

        • Nicholas J

          I know a woman, is that close enough!?

    • Linkthis83

      And to think I had the audacity to give you notes on your script ;)

      • D. Bryan

        And I thank you kind Sir!

        • Linkthis83

          Only thank me if they were indeed helpful. I didn’t realize who I was dealing with. Haha.

    • Kirk Diggler

      … first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado (You win!). Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is your fired. You get the picture?

    • drifting in space

      Just noticed you mentioned Eco/SciFi… very interesting. I’ve been kicking around an idea in that genre. If you ever want to chat, email me. driftinginscripts at gmail dot com.

    • BennyPickles

      Any takers? Uh… yes. If you’ll take me.

      With that kind of history, you’ll get swarmed, though. You can’t just come onto a website like Scriptshadow and be good at writing. That’s not the way things are done around here.

    • ElectricDreamer

      I research dating books to understand how women tick.
      Always helps me navigate the female condition in my stories.

      BTW, are we getting a new draft of Gripper for the AF review?
      Would love to read that new beetle-infused opener. ;-)

      • D. Bryan

        New draft has been sent for the review. And yes, new opener included :)
        Did you get around to reading through to the end?

        • BennyPickles

          Could you throw up a link to the new draft? Or email me (ben.pickles@shaw.ca). I may have time to read it through and assemble some notes tonight.

          • drifting in space

            Same: driftinginscripts at gmail dot com

            I’d like to participate in this tomorrow. Been awhile and it seems right up my alley.

          • D. Bryan

            Thanks to all for the interest but I’m going to send out only to those who offered notes the first time around and respect the AOW format. Please correct me if I’m wrong!
            @ElectricDreamer – need your email

          • drifting in space

            I think it would be most beneficial to read whichever draft Carson will be reviewing. Otherwise there’s no real point to it, right?

          • D. Bryan

            You’re in…

          • Casper Chris

            You’re not breaking any rules by sending people the latest draft.

            I’m not going to waste my time reading another version than the one being reviewed. So in that case, no notes from me.

        • Linkthis83

          I’m in too if it’s an option:

          linkthis83 at yahoo dot com

        • bluedenham
        • Nicholas J

          Awwww yeahhh send me that as well! I read the first half on AOW and would love to read the entire updated version before AF. nicholasjwrite@gmail.com

        • ElectricDreamer

          Great that the revisions made it into the AF review draft!
          AOW affirmative action, in action!
          No, I was holding off hoping a new draft would emerge.
          Affords me a different perspective, which could be helpful.

          soleil [dot] rouge13 [at] gmail.com

  • Alex Palmer

    This thread has good vibes so, what the hell, I’ll throw my hat in the ring. It would be a good antidote to my recent experience of trying to form a writing partnership.

    My stats:

    1) Comedy/Thriller/Drama
    2) 3 completed
    3) Not liking the arbitrary rating system, but lets call it a… 4.

    After a real self-esteem wobble, I’m taking advantage of the Easter break to plough through the first draft of my survival thriller and my comedy/psychological horror pilot. If anyone wants to start a correspondence, my email is anotheralexpalmer @ gmail.com. I’m a UK based student with hopes of making it, whether it being in the British film industry or Hollywood.

  • D. Bryan

    Yup, Gripper’s mine.

    • Ange Neale

      Congrats, D!
      I didn’t get a chance to read it when it first went up, but will now.

  • Lyse

    Ah… email: lysebeck@gmail.com :)

  • JKA

    Genres: Comedy, Drama, Horror

    I’ve completed two feature screenplays (I’ve written more but wouldn’t call them complete). I also write short fiction and poetry.

    I have an MFA from Loyola Marymount University in Screenwriting (not including much written there in in my screenplay count), a BA in English Writing from University of Redlands. I took a long hiatus from writing to work in entertainment (studios, cable tv) Biz Affairs and Legal depts as a paralegal, got married, had two kids, was too busy and too insecure to really give writing a shot. I’m now having a midlife crisis and beginning to shop my first work ever.

    I work long hours, and I’m a mom/wife, so I am very focused and pragmatic about getting more written and polished. Although I have limited screenwriting experience, I think my writing is pretty good. So I don’t know where I fall on the rating system – somewhere between a 4 and an 8.

    It would be great to have someone (or a few) who can push me to the next level and hopefully I can do the same for them. I don’t like to share zillions of drafts. I like to share what I think is my final, and then do a page 1 rewrite based on feedback from several folks. Would be good also to have some accountability outside my home to write.

    joankatherinealbano@gmail.com

  • modest at 11

    my level goes all the way to 11
    dialogue 11
    character 11
    story 11
    concept 11
    11-11-11-11 ….

  • DforVendetta

    Yo,
    I’ve written 1 screenplay (Page QFinals), 1 pilot (received a ‘Consider’ from Scriptapalooza’s Feedback), and countless treatments and outlines.
    I’ve read every screenwriting book out there but, to be real, I’m not a template kinda guy.
    I want to say I’m at least a seven, but out out of respect for those who’ve gotten paid I’ll say I’m a six.
    I’m so into writing that I think it just broke up my girl and I. I could talk writing all day, so you won’t have to wait a month for feedback.
    Check my profile (past post) for my theory on writing. I’m kind of a harsh critic but I fully understand individuality.
    housey.d@gmail.com….I want to join a group of tough critics who are serious about writing.
    I’m willing to send samples.

    • DforVendetta

      On review, I’ve also written a few shorts and 10 episodes formatted for web series.

      1. Right now I’m working on a Dark Comedy/Action flick for contest season.
      2. A few things (see above)
      3. 6.7

  • Logic Ninja

    Been hunting for feedback on this year’s Nicholl submission (aren’t we all?)–I’d also love to have a look at anyone’s work. Shoot me a message at jaybird1092@yahoo.com.
    1. Sci-fi and drama.
    2. 6 scripts.
    3. Maybe a 5. I’ll go with that.

  • S_P_1

    1) Mostly Sci-fi or whatever interest me at the moment.
    2) 1 feature, 3 shorts, several hand written features, currently working on comedy.
    3) My current level is aspiring

    I’m a active member in http://www.meetup.com/48-Hour-Films-Detroit/ ,

    http://www.stage32.com/welcome/ ,

    and http://forum.tracking-board.com/ .

    I have an account with http://www.blcklst.com/ .

    I’m registered with http://www.wga.org/ .

    I frequent scriptshadow, the bitter script reader, box office mojo, indiewire, the hollywood reporter, imdb, vimeo, ect. I’ve read the typical screenwriting books most are familiar with. I’ve been writing forever (not necessarily scripts). Decided in 2012 to earnestly become a spec scriptwriter.

    My personal experience in the 48 hour film group has been the writers meet up, pitch ideas then each write their separate script. The collaboration comes on production day.

    The closest thing I have to a writing partner is http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage and http://movieplotholes.com/ .

    I have two shorts posted at http://www.meetup.com/48-Hour-Films-Detroit/files/ under Price.

    I’m open to a possible collaboration, MAYBE.

  • Breezy

    Actually Disqus gives
    a notification every time a comment is posted, so its pretty easy to view new
    comments. And Im sure some people have comments sorted by
    “newest” (like me) so you don’t miss too many fresh postings… or if
    you come late they’re all laid out, all 200-some more of them…

  • RafaelSilvaeSouza

    247 comments? If anyone finds this one, I would like to be a part of a group.
    1. Action, Sci-fi and Horror.
    2. 6. Actually, I’ve written more screenplays, but some of them are so bad that I just can’t count them here.
    3. In my mind, I’m a 6. But all the feedback I have on my screenplays puts me somewhere between levels 3 and 4.

  • RafaelSilvaeSouza

    I guess Disqus ate my comment. That never happened before. Weird feeling.

    • Linkthis83

      Was it about your 1, 2, and 3? If so, I saw it.

      That happens to me sometimes. I post. It doesn’t show. Others see it and reply. Lol.

      • RafaelSilvaeSouza

        Yeah, weird. What got me was that Disqus logged me out after I posted. Every single day a surprise with Disqus.

    • Breezy

      Dont fret dahlin, your comment is right below you, in plain sight, visible to anyone with 20/20 vision with or without glasses.
      I guess everyone is already paired up, you are kinda late to the party (I was too). and I’m just kidding about everyone being paired up, I’m not thrashing your comment.

  • Mike.H

    Judging from the 200 comments below, very few ppl took his article seriously. Very few Emails left behind or hook up’s in store. That’s my take. Mostly facetious and Canadian cluster fu*k types.

    • Breezy

      I wouldn’t say it’s because people didnt take the article seriously. Some people just already have been hooked-up, Carson didnt have to post this for that to happen, It’s just more of a big encouragement. At this point I’m not into writing groups, but two or three writers I can exchange work with, which I already have. But there’s plenty of contact info, people are pairing up through email.

  • kenglo

    LOL….late to the show – been too busy getting feedback!!

    But I feel like the article was directed at ME! LOL – I know, paranoid!

    But it’s funny. BTW – Thanks to all who have given me feedback!! It’s makin’ me THINK!

  • Gregory Mandarano

    This is a great post and I hope that it yields a lot of successful partnerships, but I really think it just highlights that Scriptshadow needs a forum.

  • carsonreeves1

    Wanted to let everyone know that the Newsletter has just been sent. Check your Spam if it’s not in your Inbox!

    • pabloamigo

      …and it makes me a sad panda :(

      But fair play to Benny he seems like a great guy and has got the right attitude. Some interesting ideas and visuals in his script.

  • masteryas

    Hey Big Dipper,

    I’d be interested in working together, even if it’s just trading spec scripts, writing tips and feedback from our work.

    My stats are:

    1) Interested in Action, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thriller, Comedy
    2) Halfway through my first script.
    3) Theory-wise I have read books by Carson, Syd Field, Paul Gulino and Dan Calvisi. I’ve read over 100 scripts in the last year. So I would say 1 or 2 on work, but Level 6 in terms of understanding.

    My email is wesjackson82@hotmail.com message me if you fancy joining forces.

  • D. Bryan

    Sorry, wasn’t up to speed on the way AOW works and was waiting for the Carson review to hit first before going wide. My bad. It’s up now for your review :)

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Hi @dexterstrangerwriter:disqus,

    I was very impressed by Dexter Strange.

    I am now writing the first draft for a RomCom and I believe with your contribution, we can take it to the next level. (not sure which level would that be in Carson’s scale.)

    In case you’d like to hear more about it, send me an email at “panosjapan [at] gmail dot com”

    Panos

  • spencerD

    1) Tell us the genres you like to write in.

    I like writing old fashioned style movies, character driven Dramas when you get down to it. The stories of things like: Man comes home to find a wife cheating on him, spends 90s mins trying to fix this issue with varying results. As we’ll as the stories which have for the most part melded into the fantasy gene VIA lord of the rings, the old 50s-60s style Epics: Like Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai. But I also like to write, Action Adventure stories, Crime stories, Epic: Bio-Pic, Historical, War. The Western, I’ve tried but would like to give my hand to it. Suspense stories too….And lastly, I don’t write theses stories full on but they do figure heavily in to my stories: Romance.

    2) Tell us how many scripts you’ve written.

    I’ve written two completed scripts (A Historical Biopic and a short script for adapted from a CRIME DRAMA TV PILOT) As well as many more scripts starts but I have a list of 30-40 ideas ready to find their way to the screen. I have a lot of things that hold me back which are the fact I don’t have someone who can look over my work and give me actual feed back “Writer to Writer” But not writing my script. Who can help me figure out which of my concepts are the best for writing now and which ones to put away for a long while before coming back to them when I have the money, power and am allowed to make those films. Someone who can give me ideas of how to continue on when I get stuck, so that I can write the script and finish it. The same script not two or three at the same time like it I do. Until one takes over my interest.

    It is because of my getting stuck I’ve tried looking to Development for films and TV to help me until I find the right person who can help cull out the stories inside me that I want to tell. Of which the stories are set on paper in loglines but not a full scripts to get those stories made.

    3) Tell us what level you’re at.

    After Reading “The Scriptshadow Writer Scale” I’ve come to see that I am between

    Levels 6-7. A little bit of both….

  • S_P_1

    I read your script. I literally heard Gilbert Gottfried’s voice coming out a Charlie Sheen – Robert Downey Jr. hybrid with a Kanye West fashion sense. I could seriously envision Deadpool giving the voice over narration of the slug lines. Very entertaining. Quite a few LOL moments. His life wasn’t tragic it was the only way it could end. More like the Documentary of Dexter Strange. Good Job.

  • Maxi1981

    Hey bigdipper,

    I have been reading and commenting on the scriptshadow website for over 2 years. Would be interested in joining this group. I am from Sydney Australia, I have read most of the industry screenwriting books, participate din a couple of the Industry Insider screenwriting contests and halfway through the outline of one script and just starting to write another.

    My fav genres are Sci Fi,Horror, Thriller, Action.

    A 3 or 4 when it comes to writing a screenplay. A 5 or 6 when it comes to understanding screenplay breakdown, idea outlines, story structure plot vs character, etc.

    Any one else from Australia please feel free to email me on maximilianopichon at gmail.com

  • spencerD

    1) Tell us the genres you like to write in.

    I like writing old fashioned style movies, character driven Dramas when you get down to it. The stories of things like: Man comes home to find a wife cheating on him, spends 90s mins trying to fix this issue with varying results. As we’ll as the stories which have for the most part melded into the fantasy gene VIA lord of the rings, the old 50s-60s style Epics: Like Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai. But I also like to write, Action Adventure stories, Crime stories, Epic: Bio-Pic, Historical, War. The Western, I’ve tried but would like to give my hand to it. Suspense stories too….And lastly, I don’t write theses stories full on but they do figure heavily in to my stories: Romance.

    2) Tell us how many scripts you’ve written.

    I’ve written two completed scripts (A Historical Biopic and a short script for adapted from a CRIME DRAMA TV PILOT) As well as many more scripts starts but I have a list of 30-40 ideas ready to find their way to the screen. I have a lot of things that hold me back which are the fact I don’t have someone who can look over my work and give me actual feed back “Writer to Writer” But not writing my script. Who can help me figure out which of my concepts are the best for writing now and which ones to put away for a long while before coming back to them when I have the money, power and am allowed to make those films. Someone who can give me ideas of how to continue on when I get stuck, so that I can write the script and finish it. The same script not two or three at the same time like it I do. Until one takes over my interest.

    It is because of my getting stuck I’ve tried looking to Development for films and TV to help me until I find the right person who can help cull out the stories inside me that I want to tell. Of which the stories are set on paper in loglines but not a full scripts to get those stories made.

    3) Tell us what level you’re at.

    After Reading “The Scriptshadow Writer Scale” I’ve come to see that I am between

    Levels 6-7. A little bit of both….

    Maybe someone can answer and actually keep the conversation on writing and finding partners/groups.

  • spencerD

    1) Tell us the genres you like to write in.

    I like writing old fashioned style movies, character driven Dramas
    when you get down to it. The stories of things like: Man comes home to
    find a wife cheating on him, spends 90s mins trying to fix this issue
    with varying results. As we’ll as the stories which have for the most
    part melded into the fantasy gene VIA lord of the rings, the old 50s-60s
    style Epics: Like Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River
    Kwai. But I also like to write, Action Adventure stories, Crime stories,
    Epic: Bio-Pic, Historical, War. The Western, I’ve tried but would like
    to give my hand to it. Suspense stories too….And lastly, I don’t write
    theses stories full on but they do figure heavily in to my stories:
    Romance.

    2) Tell us how many scripts you’ve written.

    I’ve written two completed scripts (A Historical Biopic and a short
    script for adapted from a CRIME DRAMA TV PILOT) As well as many more
    scripts starts but I have a list of 30-40 ideas ready to find their way
    to the screen. I have a lot of things that hold me back which are the
    fact I don’t have someone who can look over my work and give me actual
    feed back “Writer to Writer” But not writing my script. Who can help me
    figure out which of my concepts are the best for writing now and which
    ones to put away for a long while before coming back to them when I have
    the money, power and am allowed to make those films. Someone who can
    give me ideas of how to continue on when I get stuck, so that I can
    write the script and finish it. The same script not two or three at the
    same time like it I do. Until one takes over my interest.

    It is because of my getting stuck I’ve tried looking to Development
    for films and TV to help me until I find the right person who can help
    cull out the stories inside me that I want to tell. Of which the stories
    are set on paper in loglines but not a full scripts to get those
    stories made.

    3) Tell us what level you’re at.

    After Reading “The Scriptshadow Writer Scale” I’ve come to see that I am between

    Levels 6-7. A little bit of both….

    Maybe someone can answer and actually keep the conversation on writing and finding partners/groups.