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Old 01-18-2018, 05:27 AM   #11
StoryWriter
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

In your "Notes" tab on your site you say:

Quote:
Now, the “About” section offers a partial justification for this being one of the top notes services.
No it doesn't -- not even close. Your "About" section is unfocused. It doesn't make a point and you continually contradict yourself. Going back and forth, at times you seem to be despondent, implying Hollywood and screenwriting is not your thing at other times you're desperate to get your "Duck" script back and get it set-up.

You lament that you didn't write more when you had a well-known agent at a powerful agency. But you also seem to want to justify not writing. I'm not an agent and have never attempted get one, but I don't think any literary agent will keep a client, indefinitely, when that client refuses to give her something to sell.

I'm sorry your script deal fell though. But as you say yourself -- it's unfortunately very common. You had people in your corner pushing for this deal much harder and much longer than most would have and you got paid $400,000. A lot more of a consolation prize than most screenwriters ever get.

I don't know why you think a meandering, overly-long, near-diatribe, that could be titled; "My Angst About The Script That Nearly Got Filmed", is a good idea when you're trying to sell script notes.

The best advice in the "About" section was written to you, by the unnamed Editor-in-Chief of "Details". But it looks like you ignored it.

Quote:
Dear Neeraj,

OK -- I think you have potential. You seem to have
balls, and despite a tendency for overwriting, you
have some skill at constructing a story. Now, how
about proposing a story with a little more content?

Best,
Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryWriter View Post
In your "Notes" tab on your site you say:



No it doesn't -- not even close. Your "About" section is unfocused. It doesn't make a point and you continually contradict yourself. Going back and forth, at times you seem to be despondent, implying Hollywood and screenwriting is not your thing at other times you're desperate to get your "Duck" script back and get it set-up.

You lament that you didn't write more when you had a well-known agent at a powerful agency. But you also seem to want to justify not writing. I'm not an agent and have never attempted get one, but I don't think any literary agent will keep a client, indefinitely, when that client refuses to give her something to sell.

I'm sorry your script deal fell though. But as you say yourself -- it's unfortunately very common. You had people in your corner pushing for this deal much harder and much longer than most would have and you got paid $400,000. A lot more of a consolation prize than most screenwriters ever get.

I don't know why you think a meandering, overly-long, near-diatribe, that could be titled; "My Angst About The Script That Nearly Got Filmed", is a good idea when you're trying to sell script notes.

The best advice in the "About" section was written to you, by the unnamed Editor-in-Chief of "Details". But it looks like you ignored it.



Good luck.
Speaking of diatribe, did you even read what AnyOtherName just said??

Who gains by this type of comment?

If you had paid for notes and been unhappy, then perhaps your own diatribe might be deserved, but otherwise it's hard to know what inspires this. Are you worried about his potential customers, or ___?

And I couldn't help but feel you're being a little passive agressive, with your "I'm sorry your script deal fell through" and your "good luck." Is that meant to soften the tone? Because here's my note to you on your note: it doesn't.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBdeb View Post
Speaking of diatribe, did you even read what AnyOtherName just said??

Who gains by this type of comment?

If you had paid for notes and been unhappy, then perhaps your own diatribe might be deserved, but otherwise it's hard to know what inspires this. Are you worried about his potential customers, or ___?

And I couldn't help but feel you're being a little passive agressive, with your "I'm sorry your script deal fell through" and your "good luck." Is that meant to soften the tone? Because here's my note to you on your note: it doesn't.
Me -- "passive aggressive"? Did you even read what he wrote? I know it's book length, but did you start, at least?

He was MUCH harder on himself than I could ever be. And the theme of what he wrote was about the "Duck" script deal falling through. He mentioned it over and over again. I didn't pick any scab that he didn't pick at least a dozen times, himself.

Your comment is like telling me I'm being "passive aggressive" for telling someone "I'm sorry your cat died' after that person just spent an hour, telling me, over and over again, that their cat died.

Who gains by this? Hopefully Raj. I honestly don't think that what he wrote is an effective way to solicit business as an "expert" notes writer.

And make no bones about it -- he is claiming to be an expert.

His words:

Quote:
I charge $120 for a feature-length script, $60 for a one-hour pilot, and $30 for a half-hour pilot.

I plan to charge more. Iím no Picasso, but Iím closer to Picasso than most consultants are to me.
So, somehow I don't really think I damaged his "fragile" ego, do you?
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

My main point of contention with script services such as these is that they seem only to take monetary advantage of writers, not help them. Looking at the pricing structures of them, probably the more you pay, the more they play (with you).

Of course, there are going to be exceptions and some script notes services are going to be great because of the experience of the note giver. Is it worth it? Caveat emptor. In some cases, it's difficult to verify the experience claims of the note giver.

From all the years of reading, study, and research I've done on screenwriting “how to” methods over the years, the conclusion I've reached is that the serious and dedicated screenwriter must learn to edit themselves.

Editing one's own screenplay is as simple as 1.) finishing the script without editing or tweaking regardless of length, 2.) putting said script away for at least two weeks or more (work on something else, for Pete's sake... you're calling yourself a writer), and 3.) pull that script from the drawer or file cabinet and give it a go again. You'll see your own work with “fresh eyes.” Simple, yes, but not necessarily easy to accomplish, I can attest to that.

In Step 3, that's where you're changing from writer to editor, and the time spent away from the script gives you those fresh eyes on your own work. Who knows the story better than yourself? Does it work for you when you pull it from the drawer every two weeks? No? Rewrite it again. This “lather, rinse and repeat” process works to make the screenplay, your story, as smooth as a baby's behind to the best of your ability. Then, and only then, would it be ready for the world to see it.

Of course, there will be exceptions to any supposed hard and fast “rule,” and some script services are going to be outstanding for some budding screenwriters. Good. If the writer has the scratch to spare and believes it will help improve their work, then go for it. It's a free country. But every reader will have a different take on the script. Some websites have qualified readers, yet they give varied scores on the same scripts. That ought to be enough of a clue to validate this point. When the screenplay elicits the same or similar responses from everyone who reads it, it's either a dud . . . or a winner.

My view is that the would-be screenwriter must have the discipline and the nerve to distance themselves from their work and to “kill their darlings,” as the saying goes, and do this without the aid of any outside opinions.

Getting back to self-discipline, the dedicated screenwriter must learn to inhabit within themselves a creative persona to create the screenplay (again, from start to finish the first time). Later, in Step 3, they must learn to inhabit within themselves an editor alter ego, a persona who is the corporate raider of screenwriting, one who can slash and burn as necessary to trim the fat and lose the purple prose or whatever else is causing the story to be clunky.

I wouldn't know where to find the statistics on this, but I speculate that all the working professional screenwriters of the movies I see onscreen at the local movie theater have the confidence and the self-discipline to edit themselves.

It seems to me that the only script consultants the working professional screenwriter would want or need are the development execs when the screenwriter takes a meeting with them. They'll give notes, all right. Why would those execs lay down a big-bucks bet on some swayback nag when they can groom it into a Triple Crown winner?

The screenwriter must bet on themselves before they can expect studios to bet their money on the writer's script.

Last edited by TigerFang : 01-19-2018 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

There are probably some here who would prefer I edited myself right out of these forums! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoryWriter View Post
Me -- "passive aggressive"? Did you even read what he wrote? I know it's book length, but did you start, at least?

He was MUCH harder on himself than I could ever be. And the theme of what he wrote was about the "Duck" script deal falling through. He mentioned it over and over again. I didn't pick any scab that he didn't pick at least a dozen times, himself.

Your comment is like telling me I'm being "passive aggressive" for telling someone "I'm sorry your cat died' after that person just spent an hour, telling me, over and over again, that their cat died.

Who gains by this? Hopefully Raj. I honestly don't think that what he wrote is an effective way to solicit business as an "expert" notes writer.

And make no bones about it -- he is claiming to be an expert.

His words:



So, somehow I don't really think I damaged his "fragile" ego, do you?


Well, I went back to re-read your post in case I just missed something, and I'm just not seeing it. But fine, if that's how you do "gentle support" God knows I don't want to pick a fight.

It sounds like he is simply not the guy you'll want to go to for notes. I suppose he'll survive.

I think that if we can try to be positive, kind and constructive in our critiques-- that being notes we give or a new website-- it can only help that much more. Just a thought.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

Wow, a lot to go over here. AnyOtherName and SBDeb, I appreciate you both for sticking up for me. I need all the back-up I can get.

TigerFang and StoryWriter, I appreciate your thoughts, and I'll try to address them all, but I'm not sure if you're interested in a response. As far as these points go...

"No it doesn't -- not even close. Your "About" section is unfocused. It doesn't make a point and you continually contradict yourself. Going back and forth, at times you seem to be despondent, implying Hollywood and screenwriting is not your thing at other times you're desperate to get your "Duck" script back and get it set-up."

The screenwriting life is much like our everyday lives. It's not much different than navigating a romantic relationship, or raising teenager. Meaning, the screenwriting life, much like my "About" section, can be unfocused, and yes, full of contradictions, too. You would be hard-pressed finding any writer -- from the fresh-faced 22-year-old to the A-list pro -- for whom despondency and desperation are not part of the deal.

If my "About" section didn't make a point, more than one person wouldn't have called it "fascinating." Like, three people literally used the word "fascinating." (I'd be more than happy to show you the evidence.) Now, as I wrote last week, your opinion matters, too. It really does. I had hoped that readers would universally love what I had to say, but much like our writing efforts, we often fall short. It's hard to please everyone, and I wish my story would've resonated with you.

Screenwriting is most certainly "my thing," but there are other things I'd like to do in addition to that work. Tunnel vision isn't good for anyone, in any pursuit. It's certainly possible that I may not be cut out for pitching studios or Act II rewrites, but that doesn't mean I don't want to make my "Duck" script, get my "Murder in London" script read, or personally finance my "Irish Never Quit" project. As stated on the site, I can write specs, but the writer-for-hire process was a bit too much for me. I talked about leaving "SNL" when I could've gotten a job on the show, and how I still managed some Hollywood success without utilizing the contacts I made there. So, it's possible to be passionate about the arts -- and to create art -- without making it a career. ("Duck" got far, and so did "Uppercut," a much tougher film to make.) And really, even if I never wanted to write another script again, I think even the harshest critic could understand someone wanting to reclaim a script that multiple people keep inquiring about. Getting that script back -- and set up -- doesn't require five years of constant writing. The work has been done, you know?

"You lament that you didn't write more when you had a well-known agent at a powerful agency. But you also seem to want to justify not writing. I'm not an agent and have never attempted get one, but I don't think any literary agent will keep a client, indefinitely, when that client refuses to give her something to sell."

I never complained or took issue with being dropped. I didn't write much, and worked too closely with a rival agency. In any case, I'm grateful that the same agent and agency has responded well to my writing since then, as have other reps. To your point, though, I lament not writing -- but do seek to justify it -- in the same way I lament earning a college degree at 28 (and not at 21). I justify that as well, however, since not everyone is as productive as they wish they could be. I have friends who lament the fact that -- with the kids out of the house and ample free time -- they don't have the courage to write. We all have our areas of weakness. It all evens out.

"I'm sorry your script deal fell though. But as you say yourself -- it's unfortunately very common. You had people in your corner pushing for this deal much harder and much longer than most would have and you got paid $400,000. A lot more of a consolation prize than most screenwriters ever get.

I don't know why you think a meandering, overly-long, near-diatribe, that could be titled; "My Angst About The Script That Nearly Got Filmed", is a good idea when you're trying to sell script notes."

I think people on the quest -- those who will make it and those who never will -- can draw a lot from my experience. At least, that's what the 23-year-old with a manager seemed to say. I also think writers can see bit and pieces of themselves in me. I know that long, drawn-out, first-person accounts were catnip to me when I was younger.

Also, there are maybe 50 people mentioned in the "About" section, and they're all talked about in glowing terms. Sure, there's a lot of angst, but there's a lot of unbridled joy and happiness, too. Throughout the piece, I write about being grateful, and from start to finish, I write about how lucky I was. Maybe it comes across to the aspiring writer differently than I would've hoped, but over the past 20 days, the feedback I've received has really changed my life in some not-too-subtle ways. If the overall message wasn't positive (in the context of a life story being told), I also wouldn't have heard from people inside the business, which I have. I mainly wrote it for myself, but people outside of screenwriting and entertainment will be reading some, if not all of it. I've got a plan, and I'm excited to begin executing it in the coming weeks.

TigerFang...

"My main point of contention with script services such as these is that they seem only to take monetary advantage of writers, not help them. Looking at the pricing structures of them, probably the more you pay, the more they play (with you)."

I agree with this. That's why I'm charging less than anyone for my services. You can pay Danny Manus $75 for query letter help. By contrast, I'm one of the only writers who's ever sold a spec off a query letter, and I'll work on yours for free. I wrote a query one December, my script was read in January, I was in L.A. by February, had a purchase offer in March, and the deal closed in April.

In general, I agree with everything you've written:

"I wouldn't know where to find the statistics on this, but I speculate that all the working professional screenwriters of the movies I see onscreen at the local movie theater have the confidence and the self-discipline to edit themselves."

My "Duck" script was adored by so many people before it made a splash. And yet, right before I sent it to UTA, I got notes on it from a future show creator who was my roommate at NYU. (His show is one of the most critically-acclaimed shows on TV.) I also received notes from a current WME partner, who I was also super close with in college. My "Murder in London" script is my best, and the Black List feedback (on the site) confirms it. Still, what you can read (.PDF-wise) on the site is only a reflection of the notes I later received from a fellow screenwriter. I also got notes from Screenplay Mechanic, who gave me a single note that changed everything. Drew is a writer as well, so I'm only offering what I seek out. Most people don't have access to show creators and WME agents. I'm not claiming to level the playing field, but if a lot of kids on the tennis team get lessons, I'd want lessons, too. (Especially if I can get them from a far superior coach at far superior prices.) And again, we're not talking about lessons. We're talking about permanent changes to a script.

Personally, I know how to write and I know how to edit, but another set of eyes always seems to help. I get multiple opinions of my writing at each stage, but your mileage may vary.

In any event, I *was* trying to make a connection with every last reader, and I'm genuinely disappointed that I failed in that regard.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerFang View Post
Neeraj:

Your post and that of “Harry Dee” read distinctly similar in style and rhythm. And why does the “Harry Dee” post begin with a comment about the original post not receiving any comments? Hmm.

All that aside, the Universal, 21st Century, Columbia, Paramount, and MGM logo images on your website home page are copyrighted and trademarked images.

Example: The Oscar statuette of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is protected and cannot be used by anyone other than AMPAS without their express permission.

The same holds true for the images you've perverted to suit your website. Those images are not in the public domain; they do not belong to you. Changing them by putting your name on them does not make you immune to any legal recourse those entities could seek for damages.

If you're willing to disregard copyright (and trademark) on protected images, what would you do with the written material you hope screenwriters will send for your services?

Antics such as image copyright infringement makes your service illegitimate in my book.
I can't overstate the joy that being accused as a Neeraj front brings me lol listen man, I also wish I was Neeraj, that means I would have his bank account and supportive g/f!

But I think a basic look through my posts on this board, and his few posts, would quickly put to rest this conspiracy. What I will say, if you also look through my posts, is that I was literally like any other person that frequents here. I only joined when BL came back up, and Franklin was on these boards on a daily basis responding to everyone. This is the dynamic that drew me to join.

So I've already done my selling for Neeraj's site. You think I haven't complained to him about all types of things in regards to it? lol about the length, about how many places it goes, about it being notes service/personal narrative/op-ed? The only person who's read the copy more times than him is me lol and like I alluded to in my post, I could never sell any of my screenplays, and I will still be around high level entertainment industry circles because of my work on the music side.

So my testimony in regards to the site, is not a business play, because the site in and of itself, is not entirely "A business play." This is a "everyone needs a little help being a better artist" play. And if you're a hyper disciplined individual, and you want to live off your art, in whatever medium it presents itself, you need to be interacting and listening to people who are already doing it. Who have gone farther. Even if you don't agree with anything they say, if you think you're more talented than them, if you think their notes service is unfocused and a scam.

Feel however you want about the site, or Neeraj, or me in here "defending" him, I'm just saying it's short sighted to ignore such a thing. I would not have done that, and I can pull the bougie artistic a-hole resume move that you would expect from the writing partner of the guy who wrote that site. The man has his screenplays up, I could post my screenplays. You better be better than me at this, before suggesting me and Neeraj are the same person lol

Anybody can be as good as Neeraj, or I, at writing. Anybody. Anybody on this board could get people to cut them a check for their work. But it takes a lot of learning, and discipline, and time, and connecting with other people. Any writer on this board would be well served using heylittleraj as a tool for progress, regardless if they never contact him, or pay him, or even read the entire site. And that's value, my fellow writers, and is that not the point of this entire place?

Also, I'm a better writer than Neeraj, I'm cooler and better looking than Neeraj, and if you think Neeraj would write that about himself, you clearly have not seen the obscene length of this man's website.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:33 PM   #19
Neeraj
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

I'm cute, too.

For the record.

Last edited by Neeraj : 01-19-2018 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:36 PM   #20
Neeraj
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Default Re: Little Raj Writing Help

I don't know if it helps, but I switched things up a bit.

I moved the bulk of the "About" section. It now falls under a "My Story" tab on the far right of the screen. It's not even viewable on a mobile device, which I kind of prefer.

This way, the "About" section is more of a conventional "About" section. (It's still pretty unconventional, but I'm doing my best here.) As it stands now, the old prologue doesn't lead the reader into 20,000 words. I've placed that essay off to the side as a potential reading option. The prologue now works on its own as a much shorter "About" section.

I don't think it'll change minds, but personally, I like the site better this way, so I do appreciate the feedback.,

Edit: Also, at the start of the "Notes" section, a big change...

I'll start reading any given script for free. If it's great, I'll read it to the end, then pass it to a manager. If it's not "great" on page 1 or page 11, I'll tell you why. (This way, you don't need to pay me anything to potentially get discovered.)

Last edited by Neeraj : 01-29-2018 at 03:08 PM.
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