“The wounds of a friend are trustworthy ..." Proverbs 27:6
Recently I had a dear friend of mine read a script on which I had just finished a first draft. I knew the script had a few problems, but overall I thought it was pretty good. More than that, I really liked what I had written.
My friend took a week to look over the script. I had given her the green light to “rip my script to shreds,” not realizing just how much she would take it to heart!
With pencil and notepad in hand, I eagerly awaited the insights from my friend that would turn my script into a blockbuster hit.
My friend started by asking why I wrote the script. I thought it was obvious since it was such great story, but I humored her. I told her that I wrote it because I thought it would be fun to write. Strike one. “Where was my conviction? Where was the message I was passionately trying to get across?” she asked. “Beats me,” I replied.
Next, I was told my characters were hard to connect with and some of them were merely two-dimensional. Ouch!
I love the characters I created and connect with them easily. I guess others don’t think the way I do and don’t know everything about my characters like I do. So my scribe telepathy seemed to have misfired. Strike two.
My friend was not finished; there were more revelations to come. The opening is dull. My father/daughter relationship in the story isn’t developed enough. One of my main character’s key motivations isn’t believable. And one of my sub-characters disappears for almost 50 pages.
After two pages of notes, I was thinking, “Wow. My script stinks.”
But you know what. My reader friend was dead-on with everything she said. I was blind to so many of my story’s issues. It took someone on the outside, unbiased and unconnected, to peer into my script and immediately see the problems. Wow. Thank you!
I really do like my script. I like it so much I am going to go back and fix the problems and make it work and it will be a better script for it. Not only will it be fun, it will now be meaningful with a strong message delivered by strong committed three dimensional characters with clear motivations. No one will disappear for 50 pages.
It seems to me that what my script needed is also needed in life sometimes. We need someone to read the “script” of our life and point out some problems with “our story.” Have you ever had someone do this for you? Maybe they did it without you asking.
If you can keep pride from getting in the way of hearing AND listening, then you can really grow from finding out that maybe you are a little too short with your kids, or a little condescending with your mate, or tend to be a bit wasteful with your resources.
Maybe your quality of work has slipped or your recent weight gain just isn’t looking good. We all need to hear these things sometimes. Proverbs 27:6 says, “The wounds of a friend are trustworthy .…”
Wise is the person who takes the advice of a friend, weighs it truthfully for what it is or isn’t, and initiates real change where change is needed.
J. Darin Wales - Freelance Film/TV Director, Virginia Beach, VA