My writing partner, Jess, and I have been doing this writing thing together for almost seven years now (although I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pen and kind of sort of spell lol). We started with a thriller novel, and then we tried our pens at screenwriting and found our passion.
Over the years, we’ve penned a few scripts – rough drafts, mind you hahaha, but we’ve gotten a few stories done, start to finish. We’ve learned a lot, made a ton of stupid newb mistakes, found our combined voice, and fantasized about selling our scripts and seeing our movies come to life. But one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned to date is a fairly recent revelation…
Stay true to your story.
So we’re almost done our comedy script (lol for real this time…we think ;). But it’s taken a few years and a few versions of the story. Last summer, we worked with a script consultant who had years of professional screenwriting under his belt. He was great and very kind, but we took some of his feedback and used it to get further and further away from our original story and creative intention.
We got caught in this trap of trying to make our story “smart” so we wouldn’t seem like such screenwriting babies. We let the opinion of one person kind of throw us for a loop, and we just kept digging ourselves deeper into a hole of a story that wasn’t the story we were meant to tell.
This past spring, we made a connection with a professional screenwriter who we’ve since dubbed our faux!manager. He’s amazing and has a lot of years of experience under his belt. He’s done screenwriting, acting, producing, directing, playwriting, and knows the ins and outs of trying to sell or option a script. Plus he has some LEGIT contacts that we are hoping we can be a degree or so away from one day soon 😉 But he also gave us some great advice:
Don’t let ONE person’s opinion derail the story you’re meant to tell.
(He also gave us another amazing lesson in: know every character’s motivation for everything they do. Liiiike, so simple, but this has really elevated the way we develop our characters and stories.)
Since our faux!manager’s sage advice, Jess and I have felt a shift in our story. We scrapped our last version and went back home. We went waaaay back to the original story we were meant to tell. The most basic version. The bare bones of what we started with.
And since then, this has been the easiest revision process we’ve ever experienced. We feel so at home with this version of the story and these versions of our characters. In fact, for me personally, I can’t remember ever feeling so genuinely excited to work on a project. It’s been like literal magic.
So, as we move closer to our final final FINAL final final FINAL FINAL final version of Comedy Script (hahahaha fellow writers, you totally know this pain), we are so freakin’ stoked to share the OG story that was meant to be told.
And, ya know, hopefully sell this bad boy and creep around on a Hollywood set while it’s being filmed and brought to life 😉