It is common practice that people are inclined to cling very tightly to works created them and safeguard it to the best of their ability. Artists and/or parents are most often to exercise this behavior. Clingy behavior is a danger zone. Screenwriters, as I have observed, also engage in these actions could fall off the path of their goals. I speak on this because this is a clear and present danger for myself.
Writing a work takes intense creation of a world to the point that you are like a god of what you created. Nothing happens or does not happen without your word or thought. So you write it and then what? The end goal is something I think some writers lose sight of or overlook. When writing, I gotta ask what is the end goal?
I personally write the features for a mix of pushing them to producers and run festivals (when I have the spare cash for entry fees). Maybe after I finish my second feature, I can better explore that festival option. The shorts I write are usually thought to be independently produced by others here and there, but most collect dust in my closet. The main thing is that unless you want to write for the sake of personal fulfillment, you create for others, not entirely for you.
That being said, when you finish a script, it has to be seen by other people. This is also a danger zone. This can be a nerve racking experience because not everyone will think what you wrote is the next great work of artistic weaving of wordplay. Some people will not like it at all, or downright hate it. Those type of people claim themselves as aficionados of a certain genre…I notice it with horror buffs mostly so…anyways, yeah, they hate anything and look for reasons for it. A writer, and I for that matter, gotta watch out for those people.
Other people will have constructive criticism, meaning they also offer possible solutions. This exchange is a two-way street though. The writer has to be receptive to others’ opinions and be ready to make changes if they want it to do something beyond sitting on the computer. It takes an iron will to keep going when what you do is criticized upon and you do what you can to make it better that before. Another step is recognizing the role of the writer.
The script is a blueprint to allow others to put their mark on it while more or less sticking to the story you have written. I mentally prepare myself for my work to be savagely ravaged like a zebra surrounded by a pack of hungry lions. Just the reality of this stuff…
I don’t assume everyone will like it and thus I don’t get my feelings hurt. Treat it as a business. I seek input to get better and make connections. Yeah, art is great however others have to see it for it to really flourish and develop. But that’s just my opinion. I haven’t sold anything yet so no writer has to listen to me, but I am a good learner and people like my stuff so far, so I am doing something right.
Following my own advice, I am writing some “one-sheets” that are a single page pitch of a script to include a title, the tagline, the single phrase that sells your story (would likely appear on a poster); the logline, the sentence-long description of the story; and the synopsis, an extended look at the story meant to hook people to want to read the full script. That will be in two weeks. Then I have the film festival coming into town, so I gotta push the talent and have something to show…and I got business cards now and these one-sheets should help too.
I have the goal in mind: get produced and paid.
I have the methods: network and better the craft.
I’m prepared to take some hard hits and rejection.
I’m playing to win however. If I gave up, the chances of winning drop to negative values. That’s just stupid.