Even though I’ve only received one set of feedback thus far, the reader did hit on an area that I had concerns about. That was is Shep likeable? Apparently, he is not. This is an important point and needs to be fixed. After considerable thought and worry, I decided to add a new scene near the beginning that introduces Shep, Tyler and Grady before they hit the lake. The scene finds them launching the boat at the boat ramp. This also establishes the boat ramp for later as it is a pivotal location within the story.
Another ‘fix’ I made was to flip the whole “half-brother” gag. Instead of Shep always reminding Tyler he was the half-brother, it’s now Tyler who does it. This softens Shep a bit. Before it made him a little harsh and not very brotherly. Since Tyler is the dick, it is fitting that he should be the one making the comments. To reinforce that idea, I also added a bit in that new scene where Shep tells Grady he took his younger brother in to help him through a rough patch. This clearly establishes Shep as the good guy and Tyler as the asshole. These changes ripple through the entire script.
Will it be enough to change people’s minds on Shep? I don’t know. I have forwarded this new script to the people who haven’t read the script yet and find out their comments.
Unfortunately, I’m sort of up against a deadline for Inktip.com’s magazine listings. Inktip is a sort of online clearinghouse for spec scripts. You can upload your logline and synopsis for agents, producer and directors to search. You also have the option of uploading the script. Inktip also offers a service where they send loglines directly to some 15,000 industry professionals in a magazine format. That is a separate fee and there are several months between magazines. Tonight is the deadline for the magazine. The logline and synopsis stay the same, but I wanted to include the script on the site as well, so that’s why the mad scramble to get these rewrites completed. I can always change any element at any time, but I don’t want to wait any longer on at least getting the logline out.
To post the logline and synopsis, Inktip requires a copyright on the current iteration of the script., another reason for making these rewrites. If I’m going to pay for the copyright, I want it to be the most current version I have. So, with minutes to spare, I uploaded the script to the Library of Congress and registered with Inktip.
Whew! Nothing like a ticking clock to put a fire under you. But not content to leave well enough alone, I also submitted the script to a coverage service. Submitting to these services usually also requires a copyright. Even if they don’t require it, you should not submit your script anywhere without registering the copyright first. Some organizations will allow you to submit with a WGA registration, but to protect your copyright, you need to file with the copyright office. Nothing else will protect you. Nothing!
I am feeling pretty confident about the script at this point. The coverage service claims a 72 hour turnaround, and I requested 2 readers. I doubt I’ll hear anything over the weekend, so it looks like Monday is D-Day. Wish me luck.