Today I got an unexpected treat in the world of writing, and an opportunity to test one of my long held beliefs when it comes to criticism.
Some weeks ago, I submitted one of my scripts, the horror tale Abyssus to a screenwriting festival dealing in the horror genre. I don’t know what I was expecting back, though I certainly wasn’t expecting a rave.
Abyssus is a script that, in its current form, I’m very happy with. A tale of oil rig workers pitted against a malevolent sea monster, it’s a love letter to some of my favorite films in the horror genre, most notably both versions of The Thing and the 1979 classic, Alien.
Today I got a review back. The review said the script was okay.
For most, that would be a slap in the face, but not to me. This was the first time I ever submitted a script and I was expecting much harsher treatment to be honest. I read the review carefully, finding myself agreeing with the valid points my critic put forward. The good news is the critic felt the horror elements worked splendidly. The script was complimented on the pace at which the story moved, and the creative and unexpected scares.
The criticism was more towards the characters, which my critic felt were too underdeveloped. They listed specific examples where this could be strengthened, and offered many wonderful and informative thoughts on how to improve it.
I also learned, once again, that I’m terrible at self editing. Typos abound, my friends. This is the last time I’ll be making that mistake.
The ending consensus was the script was an overall good read, but these few elements stopped it from being a great one. That is a much better review than most get on a first outing, and I couldn’t be happier.
I take it as a challenge. Abyssus, even in its current form, I’m most happy with and list it among my favorite achievements. The idea of it getting even better makes me most enthusiastic, and that is my challenge. It will be better, so next time I submit it, it will do better.
On this blog, I’ve spoken many times about how you shouldn’t shy away from the critics as bullies tearing apart your dreams. Instead, take their words as a challenge to take something you made and that you love, and make it even better so you can love it even more. It is these words and thoughts that can take an okay story and make it into a great one.
For all interested parties, you can read the first act of the current, though flawed incarnation of Abyssus at this link. Expect to see an updates version later this year once work on Never Heroes cools down again.
Thank you for reading and I’ll get back to you soon.