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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What do experienced writers want to hear (if anything) from producer notes about what's working? Should I just keep it simple with what I found funny/enjoyable etc. Or do writers prefer to hear deeper observations (more to do with craft). Or is none of it helpful to experienced writers and they're just fine with "approved".
Well, thank you for asking!

Writers LOVE praise. It helps them with the suicidal feelings they get about the criticisms.

Experienced writers love praise, and have horrible feelings about criticisms, as much as beginners. We just hide it better, and get over the latter more quickly.

Aside from helping your writer spend as little energy as possible contemplating the abyss, praising what works is also good strategy. It tells your writer what not to change. I need to know what ain't broke so I can not fix it. I need to know what you think you're buying, so I make sure that any rewrites will continue to have whatever that is.

I was in a writing group in LA. Our rule was that the first round of feedback on anything was praise. We went around the circle saying what we liked about the script/chapter/story/whatever. The next round we started tearing it apart and putting it back together again.

Then we rounded it off with beer.


I may be in the minority here, but I rarely listen to praise when getting feedback from a script. To me, it's useless fluff. What I want to hear is what's wrong, what I have to change, what doesn't work. That said, it is nice to hear that the reader actually liked the script, but I've had people read one of my scripts and then tell me all the things they liked about it. I never asked them to read a script again.

By Blogger Tim W., at 1:09 PM  

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