A room where writers can meet, share some pages and get constructive feedback. As a group of writer’s, we seek elevation of the writing process through encouragement and evaluation of each other’s work.
If you're reading this, we may have met in one of the picket lines for the WGA strike. I started this group a few weeks ago, so I decided to meet some of you in person and see if there are more people who want to connect and work on their writing muscle.
Apologies - I don't have a dedicated site for writing at this time, so I'm using my videography site and Insta/FB accounts. Hope that's not too confusing.
Writer’s Room on Zoom began June 22nd of 2023. We are a fairly new and forming group with some seasoned writers and writer enthusiasts with the common interest of writing new and fresh screenplay material.
The common experience in Writer’s Room is that we gain enthusiasm for the writing process by connecting with each other and offering positive constructive feedback and/or suggestions.
Therefore, the Mission Statement and Guidelines for this group are as follows, keeping in mind that the group is fairly new and still open to suggestions for further development of the Mission Statement and Guidelines:
We are a group of writer’s who seek elevation of the writing process through encouragement and evaluation of each other’s work.
Page Count - up to 5 pages of screenwriting or playwriting form.
Submit your pages in advance to the GoogleDrive bucket. The link is provided as a reminder each week via the GoogleGroup email. Material will be deleted weekly so that room for new material is maintained.
Submit no later than 12 hours in advance of the weekly Thursday night meeting. Offering material for the rest of the group to read in advance allows the group to gestate, make notes and offer suggestions/corrections in time for the meeting.
Group members can upload notes and suggested notations on another’s PDF for up to 3 days after the meeting for the author the material to collect. There are various ways to offer these notes, and if you need suggestions, please bring it up during the preamble of any Thursday night meeting as part of the discussion.
When offering feedback: keep it positive and constructive. It’s important for a writer to know what they are doing well, as well as what needs improvement. Be brief when offering suggestions, unless the author asks you to expand your thought. Critique the writing and not the writer. When offering encouragement, be specific, don’t just offer “fluffy” praise. Think of how a writer won’t be challenged to build upon, “…it’s great! It’s just so good!” Think of why it made you feel the way it did.
If bringing something unique, like a poem or lyric, think of how such work can become a visual/audio experience, as that is the main goal those participating in this group - to produce filmed entertainment.
Setup your material. On various days, new writers or writers who’ve been away on projects are coming back into the room. Think of how a new audience is going to perceive your 5 pages. What kind of material is it? Where are your characters coming from? Who is your main character? What’s the situation? What are you looking for in critique? What genre is it, or at least what type of material, ie: What’s it about; Buddy Love; Dude with a Problem; Out of the Bottle? (These last few analysis phrases are from the book “Save the Cat,” but anything that helps setup your piece in brief is appreciated.
Meetings are on Thursday nights, at 6:30 on Zoom by invitation.
Goals in the future may lead to holding in-person table reads of expanded work. In other words, 15 to 30 pages of a screenplay or telecast.
The main commitment we ask you bring to the room is honesty.
A Word About Copywriting and Protecting Your Work
We’re all trusted artists, providing a safe place to exercise our material. Like an actor in an acting class, can you copy someone’s technique and take it out into the business and make money off it? That in the history of ever has never worked out. If you’re concerned about others stealing your work, register it with WGA. Besides, if your material is marketable, why would someone want to steal it? Wouldn’t they do better to hire you and have you on their staff for changes upgrades? Ultimately, if you’re concerned about losing your work to a thief, don’t bring it into the group. Bring in material that you want to work on to build your writing muscle.
Here are some Helpful Tools and Links:
For free screenwriting software go here:
Cool podcast: https://scriptnotes.net
A podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters.
John August, the co-creator of Scriptnotes has a very helpful site, with screenplays and scripts that have been successfully produced by them and some of their guests. Visit: https://johnaugust.com
https://savethecat.com On occasion it can be a useful site for inspiration. If you’re looking for beats from a certain movie that inspired you, quite often a breakdown of a good film can be found on the Save the Cat site. Here’s one I found useful for Jacob’s Ladder.
If if you’re looking to get away from the confusion of all the so-called guru’s of writing such as the Syd Field books, Robert McKee principles, and Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat,” check out Craig Mazin’s encore podcast where he solo hosts “How to Write a Movie” - an inspiring 45 minutes where he tells us how to set aside all the rules of screenwriting for a minute and figure how to write something interesting.