“You Suck. I Say That Constructively…”

Last night a friend of mine, an actress and fellow writer, came to my house so we can have our weekly writing/feedback session. I am currently helping her translate her screenplay and she gives me feedback on my book. So far, I think we are each other’s biggest fans. One of her characters, Anna, has really come to life in my head and at some point I welled up at Anna’s tribulations, much to the amusement of my friend who was laughing her head off. It’s alright for her; she knows what happens next.

Even though I’m not a big fan of showing or talking about my work before having something solid (however contradictory having a blog about it might seem), I do believe that it is important to have your own personal army of people (even if it’s just one or two) who can give you constructive criticism or even a real honest opinion (beware of the jellyfishers). My feelings are a product of some of the wondrous things that I’ve heard over the years, which have left me agog many a time. I list some of these below: –

  • “You’re writing a book? Wow you must have a lot of free time.”
  • “Why don’t you write my life story?”
  • “Why don’t you try come up with something like that Harry Potter lady did? You’d be rich.”
  • “Don’t use, ‘I love you’. Say something like, ‘I have feelings for you which resemble those of the erotic kind’ or, ‘I lust for you’. ‘I love you’ has been overused in modern literature. Trust me, I know; I read a Danielle Steel book two summers ago.”
  • “It’s great, but I don’t think you should make your lead character overweight. Natalie Portman won’t want to play her in the movie.”
  • “I’ve got an idea for the ending; why don’t they all die?”
  • “When he visits her house for the first date, why doesn’t she open the door before he knocks and say, ‘I could feel you coming? We are one,’ – that would be so romantic.”
  • “Why don’t you make your book into a movie?”
  • “Will you play any of the characters in the movie?”
  • “Why haven’t you written it yet?”
  • “I’ve written a book. Well, I haven’t written it. I’ve thought about an idea for a book but I don’t know the middle or the end. I have the general idea. I can’t remember it now though.”

I jest, but on a more serious note I’ve realised that in this business, other people’s opinions are actually necessary so I am grateful to anyone who has taken the time to enquire about my writing and hear me out and I will listen intently to any feedback (even if this feedback makes me go in the entirely opposite direction, it would have still moved me to action, so: mission accomplished). I obviously still have a lot to learn (otherwise I would have already written and starred in my own movie by now) and welcome any constructive (or otherwise) criticism/ideas.

Enjoy the full moon and try not to kill anyone.

2 thoughts on ““You Suck. I Say That Constructively…”

  1. Heather Wright says:

    Great post! I hope that the book you’re writing includes the wonderful sense of humour that is evident in your posts. (I read the one about the bee, too) Thanks for dropping by my blog and liking it. I’ll be coming by to visit yours, too.

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