The fine art of interpreting notes

Not those kinds of notes

Oops. Wrong kind of notes.

It still needs some work, but the latest draft of the outline for the pulpy adventure is done, so it’s headed to the back-burner for now as focus shifts to rewriting/polishing the western.

I’ve been very fortunate the past few weeks to have received some high-quality notes for it, which includes a wide spectrum of suggestions of how it could be improved.

As expected, some have merit and some don’t (and this includes some professional comments), as well as a few changes not even originally considered. Each one gets serious consideration, but it all comes down to what I think works best for the story.

When I first started, I would assume every note I got was coming from somebody who knew better than me, but then there’d be so many changes/edits that the script was getting away from what I wanted it to be.

You and only you know what your script is supposed to be like. There will be many notes accompanying each subsequent draft. Don’t automatically think each one is right, but don’t immediately dismiss it either.

Ask yourself “Does this note help make my script better?” If so, how? If not, why not? If you’re not sure, look at it from both sides. Don’t rush just to get it over with. This requires a lot of thought, patience and attention.

It’s also important to not let your pride get in the way of the story. What’s more important – keeping your ego intact or making the story as good as it can be?

It took a while, but I eventually learned to trust my instincts to the point that I can now identify what I consider good notes and not-so-good notes, which has really made a difference in helping both me and my writing improve.

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