Feedback: Ten or Twelve Pints

By Michael Schilf · June 17, 2010

So you finished your screenplay, and now it’s the agonizing process of waiting for feedback.

Without feedback – unless you’re some kind of writing God – you’re lost. And forget about sending that script to Mom or Dad. You need brutally honest feedback… from other writers. Why? Because they’re swimming in the same shit as you are, and generally, they care.

Now, assuming you’re lucky enough to find willing critical readers that actually understand screenwriting – people who aren’t afraid to pour salt in your writing wounds – you must refrain from taking a defensive stand. Sure, the script is your baby, but that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy infant. You’re not entitled to sugar coated compliments just because you finished a script, and if “you can’t handle the truth” that your “baby” needs an extensive stint in writing ICU, you’ll never make it as a writer.

Now let’s say you receive this coveted and usually painful feedback. What next? Here’s some advice: Good news (a rarity), go to the bar, get drunk, and celebrate; bad news (expect this), go to the bar, get drunk, and be pissed off at the world; but in either case, the next day… GET OVER IT! Writing (and life for that matter) is always about the next play. So, what’s it going to be: fumble again or score the touchdown?