After I have finished the first draft of my detective script and polished it a bit, I want to get someone else to read it. I know that I have my blind spots when I go over my own work, and I suspect that there are not many writers who don’t. Hearing someone else’s opinion is a valuable reality check.
I also need some kind of audience response to my work. That tells me when I am connecting.
One time I paid to have a professional reader review my script “The Anger Trap”. It was more money than I wanted to pay, and I felt a little disappointed by the review. It was fairly positive, but it didn’t have a whole lot of advice on what I could do to improve my script.
Another issue with a hired reviewer is that they are looking at the script from the point of view of getting it accepted by a reader at a big studio. Since I am looking at making my own film, I am not sure that I need to convince a reader to recommend my script.
Another time I sent “The Anger Trap” to one of those script competitions. The reviewers didn’t like it, but their comments were even briefer. One of the comments made me realize that the reviewer had never read past the first 10 pages. I couldn’t use any of the comments to understand how to improve my script.
Mostly though, I have friends review my scripts. They tend to be very supportive, which is a double edged sword. While some of my friends had some valuable advice, I do think I need to have broader input. I do think my friends are more likely to react the way a real audience would.
What I am thinking about now is to find other people writing script and get them to do a script review swap. I would review their script, and they would review mine. Now all I have to do is find people willing to do that. I did review one script for someone and I found it helped me see problems with my own script.