By Patrick Johns
Getting feedback on your script can be a daunting experience, particularly if you are new to writing. Ask any writer and they will tell you about the cold sweats that can come each time those precious pages are read and analysed and commented on. Of course, the benefits of opening up your creative world to constructive criticism far outweighs any nervousness a writer
might feel when seeking advice. Feedback is a vital part of developing the craft and understanding of what entertains people.
One thing to consider in this day and age is that there is a whole internet full of information on scriptwriting only a few clicks away. Go to any website for writers, and you will find it awash with tips and offers to help make your script better. But is all this commentary useful? Not every pearl of wisdom can be assimilated and not all criticism of your writing will be given with context. Take, for example, the article by Shannon Reed, writing for BuzzFeed, in which she parodies this dilemma with her article If Jane Austen Got Feedback From Some Guy In A WritingÂ Workshop.
So where might a writer look for good quality, relevant feedback? Well, one such place (of course) is the Euroscript Development Workshop. Every two months, up to six writers get together with their latest drafts for a discussion with a Euroscript consultant such as Gabriella Apicella, Charles Harris or Paul Bassett-Davis. Attendees work in small groups, which means high quality, focused time for each attendee, with a relaxing, informal atmosphere to banish any nerves.
When I took part in a recent workshop, the first thing that impressed me was how much fun it was. These sessions are a treasure-trove of ideas, perspectives and possibilities for your script. Charles Harris began with introductions and an overview of each script to be reviewed. Each writer is then given 20-30 minutes to get into the details of their narrative and its relative strengths and weaknesses.
After each script has been reviewed in detail, Charles utilises the feedback to generate an action plan for each writer. A lot of momentum is created from the workshop and these guides are a great way to keep motivated well into the next draft.
The next Euroscript Development Workshop will take place at the BFI on 30th November.
THE ONLY PLACE TO TALK ABOUT THE CRAFT OF SCRIPTWRITING.