I’m taking a break from working on After Effects to share some thoughts on writing judgments. See… I recently read a tweet where someone asked if writing is good or bad. I’ll be honest I thought such a binary choice showed a lack of imagination. My mind can spit a bazillion judgments about writing every second that I read it. Some are listed in my photo.
BUT this is a waste of my time. Who cares about my judgment? Your judgment? Bob from down street’s judgment? Why? They are meaningless if they are without context. And they also work against you as a reader if you’re not careful. Think about it… If you immediately decide something is shit, don’t you feel like you’re wasting your time every second after rendering that judgment? Don’t every one of those seconds feel like hours if not years after that too?
How does this help you? If you’re reading the script to give constructive notes, wouldn’t your state of dread color everything? Wouldn’t it also make it easier to miss important details because you’re caught up in the idea of: KILL ME NOW… Just saying…
My solution? Move away from that kind of black and white thinking to consider… Someone devoted however long to it that they did. It’s not that we “owe” the writer to put ourselves in a deluded state of cheer. I’d say more that I work from the frame of: Does it work? If so, why? Why not? I know that this is also a “judgment” of sorts except it’s not about me. It’s about how the writing in front of me can answer this question.
I use it to form my context for the writer to see how their work is interpreted. It’s like a mirror for them to determine if their writing reflects to them in the ways they intended. This is why I’m a sucker for writing specific notes when giving feedback. I figure that this is the best. It’s also about letting the writer decide how the writer wants to move forward with their story in a way that makes sense to them.
And I’ve learned so much from reading scripts after I started framing my view of them this way. It also leaves a lot more room for scripts to breathe since they don’t always work in all parts all the time. I get far more wiggle room to play around with some scripts for when they do. It’s actually quite exciting for this is where the writer’s passion shines. Plus, it’s also the clue behind why the script was written in the first place. I’d say this same approach works for novels and books too. They’re just more involved because they’re longer.
Okay… I’ve got to get back to my After Effects. Enjoy!