Friday, May 18, 2007

Getting Notes

I am mentally challenged when it comes to receiving notes.

While my brain tells me that I should just keep my mouth shut, listen and meditate, my heart tells me it’s my freaking script and I’ll defend it like my life depended on it.

Well, this bipolar reaction to receiving notes is stressful as hell.
The really, really, really odd thing is that I actually implement notes into my subsequent drafts and have no problem acknowledging when someone’s notes have made the story stronger.

Then why, oh, why can’t I take constructive criticism (or what we writers call notes)? Because of that last word - criticism.

Oh, well, they say knowing is half the battle. But I don’t want to fight.

I’ve also learned that giving notes is an art form. Okay, maybe not an art form, but not everyone is good at it. Learning to distinguish good notes from shitty ones takes a bit of practice, as well. I firmly believe that there are no useless notes; even the worst can serve as a learning experience, even if it’s just building up your tolerance for complete idiots.

The biggest thing I’ve recently learned is that notes are only good when you are ready to receive it. I don’t mean when the script is at its best, or when you have fine selected those you trust, but when you, yourself are open and ready to fully open your mind to what needs to be done to bring your script to the next level.

Even the best notes given at a time when one’s not open will fall on deaf ears.

So the point? Knowing who you are is the most important step in the writing process. Understanding your own motives, intricacies, and misbehavior can make this crazy, rollercoaster process a bit more easy to swallow and stay the course.

1 comment:

annabel said...

I recently received notes on a script from several people. The funny thing was seeing how different the notes were from one person to the next. Fortunately, I feel a certain trust with a couple of my readers and that helps.

I have only had one project that I was not very receptive to notes on. I had adapted a story that I loved and I was unwilling to stray from the original story. It will probably never see the light of day, but I don't care. I love it! :)