Is your story worth fighting for?

Will Kane knows what it's like to feel like one against everybody else
Follow Will Kane’s example (except without all the shooting and stuff)

The rewrite of my mystery-comedy has been put on hold because I’m teaching myself how to write a mystery, or at least how to be better at writing one. I bought a book and everything.

But I also don’t want to not be writing, so I’ve also decided to return to the low-budget comedy. It’s been a while since I’d read the outline, but it holds up more than I thought. Sure, it needs work and there are some spots where it says something like “SOMETHING FUNNY HAPPENS!,” but overall, I like it (hold onto that statement for just a bit).

Several months ago, I’d had the opportunity to have a brief chat with a writer who specializes in comedy. He asked what I was working on, so I pitched him the idea. He liked the concept, but was quick to poke holes in the story vis-a-vis the logline (which has since been rewritten), and didn’t care for how I had the story play out (as delivered in my thumbnail presentation).

“X should happen instead of Y! Having THIS CHARACTER connect with THAT CHARACTER is all wrong!” Plus some additional words to that effect.

Gosh.

I wasn’t expecting a standing ovation, nor did I expect it to be proclaimed a work of genius, but if this guy didn’t care for what I had, did that mean it was doomed before I even started?

Nope. Quite the contrary.

Several key things I had to remember:

-this was his opinion. One person, which is not a majority.

-his sense of humor and comedy stylings could be totally different from mine.

-it’s a work-in-progress in its very early stages. The end result will most likely be very different from the starting one.

-I think it’s a good story. Always have, always will. I have no intention of abandoning it or making any significant changes so as to gain his approval. I’m not writing this for him.

Every writer spends a lot of time coming up with story ideas, and then developing them as far as they’ll go. Stick to your guns if you believe in your story, but don’t totally block out advice and suggestions. Use what you think works best. Remember – this is YOUR story. If you think it works, then by all means, do what you can to make things happen.

It’s great when you get encouragement, but you’ll also encounter a lot of naysayers (“I don’t get it/like it, so it must be a bad idea.”). It’s all subjective. Everybody likes different things. If you believe wholeheartedly in your story, you have to do your absolute best to get the rest of us to be just as interested in reading it.

Just make sure to tell that story in the most entertaining, original and professional way possible. That’s all.

One thought on “Is your story worth fighting for?

  1. Wow – I’ve critiqued other writers and been critiqued before, but it takes a certain amount of guts (that I don’t have) to tell someone how their story should go. I mean, I’m all for pointing out problems, but there’s a line somewhere between asking questions and explicitly telling someone to change something. Especially because so much of it IS subjective.
    Anyway, I wish you luck with the low-budget comedy! 🙂

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