Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Feedback loop

So I got the feedback on Tec from Philip Shelley and Jez Freedman. I had been pretty happy with what I wrote with Tec then I got Jez's comments and smote my hand across my brow as he pointed out huge plot holes.

This made me dread the comments from Philip (because Philip was Script Editor on Waking the Dead for several years so he knows his police procedural).

It's not that either of them disliked it: both commented on how the concept was original and full of potential - and both commented on how far I had to travel to fulfill that potential.

When I get to this stage, which is pretty much where I was with Monsters a year and half ago, I like to sit down with the feedback and collate it - see what points are in agreement, and see whether I agree with them too.

Then the question is: how do I fix it? I have never been precious about my work. Writing and editing somewhere between 3 and 5 million words as a magazine editor cured me of that. So I can be pretty objective - once the faults have been pointed out (seeing them in the first place is a different issue).

I'm fairly analytical about it: isolate the key issues (some issues are of lesser importance because they'll be fixed automatically when the important stuff is fixed) and then see what additions and subtractions will have the desired effect.

Speaking of subtractions: I have been working my way through the Running feature script. Bearing in mind this was written in slightly over two weeks in April, it's not that bad - it does have some good stuff and the structure isn't too bad. But it does have sections of completely awful dialogue (made me cringe as I read it) and there is a sequence that just makes no sense at all. The character arcs need work - it's hardly surprising I lost touch with them writing so fast.

Meanwhile, on the subject of hating stuff...

I watched Chronicles of Riddick last night and I liked it. As I've said I take things for what they are, so it was fun (does that mean I enjoy myself more than people who feel they have to complain about anything that isn't "perfect"? I guess it does. Yay!) I loved the attention to detail in the set and costume design, it looked beautiful.

I have also been watching Desperate Romantics - that's fun too. Definitely not serious, but it is closer to the truth than I suspect most people realise.

What's on the turntable? "All Around My Hat" by Steel Eye Span from "All Around My Hat" - there's always room for electric folk rock.

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