I'm back from my first read of The Devil's Tramping Ground at Rewrites Writers Group. The reading went well, but what I've learned from these first 10 pages is that it is going to take some work to turn this non-linear story into a linear story. Some of the scenes are just too long as stand-alones. They worked in the non-linear format because they were broken up and scattered throughout the story. Now, I've got to figure out how to get that same information across in shorter scenes. I am liking the feel of the story though as I straighten it out. The one problem I foresee is it may take too long to get to the scary part of the story. The nature of the story requires some setup as opposed to just jumping into scary stuff happening right away. This could be a problem for the genre I'm writing in and may need to be reworked.
In other news, I've been having some interesting diversions in the online forums where one guy asked me to submit his scripts instead of my own to the producers who requested them at the Nashville Conference. I had to tell him, "Not gonna happen." He insisted he had 4 number one box office hits and I would be better served submitting his scripts instead of my own. I don't even know this guy. A couple of other people told me that since I had script requests they needed to be my Facebook friends so I could submit their scripts to my contacts. I had to tell them no as well. It boggles my mind that people who don't know you and don't want to show you their work, insist you do them favors. All I can say is, go out and make your own contacts with your own work. Or at least become friends with me and get to know me, maybe exchange work, and then ask if I can help. But don't tell me I have to help you and not to worry about their credentials. Shesh!
And then there was the guy who was posting a full script in a forum and soliciting feedback. He didn't like the feedback he was getting and became defensive. Granted, some of the comments were not particularly nice, but you've got to have thick skin in this business. So I decided to read the script and do some coverage as practice. Turns out, it wasn't even his script. He found it somewhere else and was posting it in a forum where the author wasn't a member. He didn't even have permission from the writer to do so. I'm not sure what he thought he was accomplishing by this, but let it be a lesson to writers. Don't post your full script online where anyone can take it, and for crying out loud, make sure you have it copyrighted. The chances of someone actually stealing your script is very small, but it does happen. Protect yourself.
Anyway, I'm off to ScriptFest 2016 and the Great American Pitch Festival this weekend. You can follow along with video updates on The Screenwriter's Journey Facebook page or receive live tweets from the breakout sessions on Twitter by following my Twitter handle @ScriptJourney.