Answer: Then you don’t want to be a writer.
As you’ve read on my blog before, the film and television business are team efforts. Creative decisions don’t come from one place. So you must be open to people dipping their fingers all in your kool-aide (cliché, I know…hey, I met a girl named Clesh’a. I tried to pronounce it Clahshay because I refused to think that her mother named her cliché, but she quickly corrected me.). You may as well start during your writing process by inviting respected colleagues to give notes on your drafts. When you “finish” your script and sell it to a studio or submit it to your executive producer or creative exec, guess what they’re going to do? Give you notes. Yes. It’ll never be done. It’ll never be perfect. They’ll run out of time in the production schedule and just go to production, making notes along the way, before they say a script is perfect. Get into it.
How do you find a writers group? Good question. Anyone whose opinion you respect but won’t take personally will be of help. Sure, it’s great if some of these people are industry people so they can speak on structure, etc. But it’s even better to have non-industry people who come from a genuine, unaffected place and can simply say they understand or don’t understand your story. These are the people who will be watching your movie or TV show. These are the people who are in love with your characters and know them better than you do. These are the people who can read your script and find all of its flaws because if it doesn’t make sense on the page, it may not make sense on the screen.
Writing group members can be fellow writers. This way, you can return the favor by tearing their script to shreds. The great thing about 2016 is there are a million communities of writers on social media. Go to Facebook and search Writers Groups in your area. Go to Instagram and search #writersofinstagram. Check out some community colleges, coffee shop boards, etc. Believe me, there is someone out there looking for notes just like you are. AND if all else fails, I’m here for you. Give your brain a break and let The Professional Pen handle the rest. I’m your writer for your writer within. (Smile).
Shannan E. Johnson, a writer who doesn't write.