Trigger Street

by Suw on July 7, 2003

Having decided to give more time to my writing, today I visited (requires registration), the site backed by Kevin Spacey for wannabe script writers and film makers. And it’s kind of a strange space, really. On the one hand, it’s a forum for gaining constructive criticism, networking and getting advice. On the other hand, there’s a system whereby you have to review other people’s films or screenplays before you can get your own reviewed, and although that’s a perfectly reasonable premise, I suspect that there are cliques amongst the regular contributors that could result in the unwary getting their throats torn out. The way the site works is also far from transparent ? you have to get in to it and play about with it to make any sense of it.

Which meant that today I downloaded and read someone’s script, and then reviewed it. And I hate doing reviews. When I worked as a music journalist, I refused to do reviews on principle ? I didn’t believe that it was appropriate for me to publicly review music when I had not been through the full music creation process myself. My opinion was only so much meaningless hot air, and I refused to publish what was to my mind worthless.

I don’t feel quite so bad about reviewing people’s writing, because as an ex-professional writer I feel that I have a reasonable grip on what is good and what could be improved, but I still feel a little uncomfortable about it. Whilst those posting screenplays to be reviewed are actively soliciting feedback, it’s still difficult because each script is someone’s baby and I feel an obligation to be both honest and compassionate when reviewing, and that requires putting time and effort into it. Yet I don’t want to be spending lots of time reading and rereading scripts and writing and rewriting reviews. I have a hard enough time fitting everything in to my life as it is!

Still, I’m sure that it’s going to be interesting to lurk on the site and see what gives. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll post a screen play of my own to be torn to shreds by the wolves.

A visitor July 8, 2003 at 11:51 am sounds interesting — sort of what I do for my prose at (Same set-up for both.) Trust me, critiquing other people's work has made ME a better writer. It's amazing how much my eyes were opened seeing the mistakes others were making! And it's not like you have to find every single thing that's wrong with a piece. Maybe temper the suggestions with an equivalent amount of encouragement. Let us know how critiquing screenplays goes.


Suw July 8, 2003 at 12:27 pm

Hey JD!! Great to see you here! I owe you an email. Sorry!!

I'll go take a look at, as I could do with a prose equivalent. I did learn a lot when I was working for H3G as an intranet editor, and at PwC as a product/content manager. But there's always more to learn, and prose/screenplays are poles apart from internal comms!

I do think, though, that writing this blog has helped me a lot as well. It means I'm writing almost every day (good for discipline) and because of time constraints I'm having to be more precise and much faster with my self-editing. Of course, you can't really edit yourself properly, but I'm a lot better at it than I was.

A visitor July 14, 2003 at 1:23 am

This sort of feels like slow-motion chatting…

I can see how blog writing can improve your writing — making the daily entries gets you into a sort of writing groove. Hmmm, wonder if writing blog replies does the same…

Didn't mean for you to think you had to actually do I have enough trouble keeping up with my critique quota, and I've found the secret to doing just one per month! I'm sure TriggerStreet will keep you busy. Plus, Critters is science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Feel free to let me have a look at what you're writing.

And don't worry about the email!


Suw July 14, 2003 at 8:56 am

Very slo mo chatting… but slightly faster than my response rate by email at the moment. 😉 And yes, I will reply!!

I had a shufty at, just to see how it compares with TS, and have bookmarked it for future ref. At the moment I don't have anything to submit to it anyway, although sci-fi/fantasy are two of the genres I like writing in, but when I do, I will.

I also need to look at, which apparently is a bit more useful in terms of support and advice than TS. So many web sites, so little time…

Anyway, yes, I will send the script over to you for your esteemed comment (well, I esteem your comments anyway. 😉 ) once the first draft and polish is complete. I'm hoping that'll be within the next month, but I guess we'll have to see whether I can keep the muse at my side for that long.

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