When a Unique Voice is a Problem

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  • When a Unique Voice is a Problem

    This is a bit of a strange question, and please forgive the length, but I'm hoping maybe somebody has had a similar experience. Everything I write is generally praised for possessing a strong and unique voice, but the nature of this voice leads to a lot of choices in my scripts that aren't exactly conducive to commercial viability. Because of this, I seem to be in some type of endless cycle where I get an open door from a manager who finds the writing unique, but inaccessible, then that person ultimately becomes tired of reading multiple scripts that, while enjoyable for his tastes, are ultimately a waste of time. At that point, I find another who feels the same way, and it obviously culminates in the same result: mentions of a unique voice, comparisons to David Lynch (and the occasional Charlie Kaufman), and no script that can actually get me anywhere. I get the same reaction whether I write endless drafts or send them out right after hitting save on the first one. It also goes without saying my concepts and loglines are affected in the same way.

    I would do anything to change my view of the world to accommodate, but I spent my childhood watching my alcoholic mother sway back and forth across the living room with a red Solo cup full of gin, swearing to God she hadn't been drinking, while my genius, under-achieving father would smoke pot from aluminum-foil pipes and talk to me about advanced theories in physics when I was five years old. My world has always been a little surreal, ridiculous, and teetering on the brink of implausibility, so this is the only honest way I know to write.

    Of course, like anyone, there are other issues with my writing, but this is the one that is mentioned by everyone who reviews my work. To combat this, I tried writing something "normal", and it was a disaster, easily the worst screenplay I've ever written. I also thought a switch from thriller to comedy might be such a huge change that I could escape the strange voice for broader sensibilities, but reviews on my first two in scripts in that genre (from the Black List) have scored no better than 6 overall with comments like, "The writer's unique voice and sensibility are refreshing."...the anything-but-the-kitchen-sink style garnered more than a few big laughs" ... "...a lot of fun" ... "...admittedly quite funny." ... "... makes for some engaging sequences." ... "...aims for the low-hanging fruit in pretty hilarious fashion." ... and, back to my point, negating all of the positive aspects, "A lot of the choices that could be praised above also lead to the script's weaknesses."

    That last quote is a perfect summary of the way I write. So, if my greatest strength is also my biggest weakness, what do I do to correct this? Do I need to accept there's no room for me in the industry as a screenwriter and make my own film? I really don't want to quit, as it seems there's at least some merit to my scripts. Has anyone else faced this type of scenario? If so, what did you do to steer the ship in the right direction? Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

    Originally posted by GhostWhite View Post
    This is a bit of a strange question, and please forgive the length, but I'm hoping maybe somebody has had a similar experience. Everything I write is generally praised for possessing a strong and unique voice, but the nature of this voice leads to a lot of choices in my scripts that aren't exactly conducive to commercial viability. Because of this, I seem to be in some type of endless cycle where I get an open door from a manager who finds the writing unique, but inaccessible, then that person ultimately becomes tired of reading multiple scripts that, while enjoyable for his tastes, are ultimately a waste of time. At that point, I find another who feels the same way, and it obviously culminates in the same result: mentions of a unique voice, comparisons to David Lynch (and the occasional Charlie Kaufman), and no script that can actually get me anywhere. I get the same reaction whether I write endless drafts or send them out right after hitting save on the first one. It also goes without saying my concepts and loglines are affected in the same way.

    I would do anything to change my view of the world to accommodate, but I spent my childhood watching my alcoholic mother sway back and forth across the living room with a red Solo cup full of gin, swearing to God she hadn't been drinking, while my genius, under-achieving father would smoke pot from aluminum-foil pipes and talk to me about advanced theories in physics when I was five years old. My world has always been a little surreal, ridiculous, and teetering on the brink of implausibility, so this is the only honest way I know to write.

    Of course, like anyone, there are other issues with my writing, but this is the one that is mentioned by everyone who reviews my work. To combat this, I tried writing something "normal", and it was a disaster, easily the worst screenplay I've ever written. I also thought a switch from thriller to comedy might be such a huge change that I could escape the strange voice for broader sensibilities, but reviews on my first two in scripts in that genre (from the Black List) have scored no better than 6 overall with comments like, "The writer's unique voice and sensibility are refreshing."...the anything-but-the-kitchen-sink style garnered more than a few big laughs" ... "...a lot of fun" ... "...admittedly quite funny." ... "... makes for some engaging sequences." ... "...aims for the low-hanging fruit in pretty hilarious fashion." ... and, back to my point, negating all of the positive aspects, "A lot of the choices that could be praised above also lead to the script's weaknesses."

    That last quote is a perfect summary of the way I write. So, if my greatest strength is also my biggest weakness, what do I do to correct this? Do I need to accept there's no room for me in the industry as a screenwriter and make my own film? I really don't want to quit, as it seems there's at least some merit to my scripts. Has anyone else faced this type of scenario? If so, what did you do to steer the ship in the right direction? Thanks for reading.
    Well, on some level you may have to accept that no matter what you do, you're going to face a somewhat steeper climb even that most people if you want to pursue a career in this business.

    I remember a conversation that I had with my (then) agent along these lines. We were talking about Charlie Kaufman and he said that he really wasn't interested in representing "Charlie Kaufman" type writers. It wasn't that he didn't like those scripts or that kind of movie. The problem was that there was simply a very low demand for that kind of material. Not "no" demand. Just not very much demand. In a given year, there might be maybe four movies made in that quirky odd-ball "Charlie Kaufman" type realm. And chances are, Charlie Kaufman would write one of them.

    So it's not like repping a writer who is writing rom-coms or action movies or thrillers or even straight dramas. Those off-beat quirky sorts of movies were always going to be very hard to sell. And that meant that, as an agent, repping somebody who just turned out those kinds of scripts, year in and year out meant that it would be really hard to make a decent return off of ten percent of that guy's sales.

    If that's the kind of stuff that you write, that's a hard thing to hear.

    But it seems to me that you have a slightly different problem. If you look at all the comments that people are making, they're all saying that you have a unique voice but--

    "But" -- something else isn't working. Something is missing. It's funny. It's quirky. But.

    You need to look at what you're writing and think seriously about that "but."

    It seems to me that people (for the most part) aren't really having a problem with the fact that your material is quirky (in whatever way it is). Instead of thinking about getting rid of the stuff that's working, try to think about what it is that's not. Are people having a problem connecting with your characters. Is there a lack of structure? Do people get to the end of the thing and just sort of shrug and say -- oh, is that it?

    Just because stories are odd and quirky doesn't mean that they can't have identifiable characters, themes, structure, feeling, etc.

    If you look at movies like Eternal Sunshine or Her, they're both definitely in that "quirky" zone but are also very rich, emotionally.

    The odds are always going to be long and in the end, the only way you can effect them is to find a way to make what's special about your work speak as broadly as possible to the people you're trying to sell to.

    NMS

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

      Originally posted by GhostWhite View Post
      This is a bit of a strange question, and please forgive the length, but I'm hoping maybe somebody has had a similar experience. Everything I write is generally praised for possessing a strong and unique voice, but the nature of this voice leads to a lot of choices in my scripts that aren't exactly conducive to commercial viability. Because of this, I seem to be in some type of endless cycle where I get an open door from a manager who finds the writing unique, but inaccessible, then that person ultimately becomes tired of reading multiple scripts that, while enjoyable for his tastes, are ultimately a waste of time. At that point, I find another who feels the same way, and it obviously culminates in the same result: mentions of a unique voice, comparisons to David Lynch (and the occasional Charlie Kaufman), and no script that can actually get me anywhere. I get the same reaction whether I write endless drafts or send them out right after hitting save on the first one. It also goes without saying my concepts and loglines are affected in the same way.

      I would do anything to change my view of the world to accommodate, but I spent my childhood watching my alcoholic mother sway back and forth across the living room with a red Solo cup full of gin, swearing to God she hadn't been drinking, while my genius, under-achieving father would smoke pot from aluminum-foil pipes and talk to me about advanced theories in physics when I was five years old. My world has always been a little surreal, ridiculous, and teetering on the brink of implausibility, so this is the only honest way I know to write.

      Of course, like anyone, there are other issues with my writing, but this is the one that is mentioned by everyone who reviews my work. To combat this, I tried writing something "normal", and it was a disaster, easily the worst screenplay I've ever written. I also thought a switch from thriller to comedy might be such a huge change that I could escape the strange voice for broader sensibilities, but reviews on my first two in scripts in that genre (from the Black List) have scored no better than 6 overall with comments like, "The writer's unique voice and sensibility are refreshing."...the anything-but-the-kitchen-sink style garnered more than a few big laughs" ... "...a lot of fun" ... "...admittedly quite funny." ... "... makes for some engaging sequences." ... "...aims for the low-hanging fruit in pretty hilarious fashion." ... and, back to my point, negating all of the positive aspects, "A lot of the choices that could be praised above also lead to the script's weaknesses."

      That last quote is a perfect summary of the way I write. So, if my greatest strength is also my biggest weakness, what do I do to correct this? Do I need to accept there's no room for me in the industry as a screenwriter and make my own film? I really don't want to quit, as it seems there's at least some merit to my scripts. Has anyone else faced this type of scenario? If so, what did you do to steer the ship in the right direction? Thanks for reading.
      It might not be as bad as you think. Your flaws might be more craft related.

      I don't think somber or sad subject matter means a story can't be commercial, especially if the overall message has hope.

      In fact, finding the meeting point between the themes you want to explore and a properly commercial vehicle to deliver them in, makes you a professional.

      But I'm a little confused: what specifically did those readers point out as uncommercial?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

        I think NMS gets it right here. Stories are a bit like cooking. You may be Grant Achatz, and your style may involve molecular gastronomy the likes of which no one's seen.

        But it's still food, and it has to fill a belly.

        Kaufman and Lynch deliver narrative in unique ways, but the core of their work touches universal chords, which is why people respond.

        Yes, it can make for an uphill climb, but everyone's on an uphill climb.

        One suggestion: since your voice is unique, try writing a genre story. Twin Peaks wasn't anything more than a serialized Murder She Wrote + Lynch, right?

        Look at True Detective (if you haven't watched it yet). Two detectives track down a serial killer. Yawnsville. Except the voice... unlike anything I've ever watched. Best first five episodes of a TV show EVER.

        Sometimes that's all it takes. Give people a comfortable, familiar plot, and then do your thing all over it. Suddenly your "weird" and "strange" and "quirky" turn to "fresh" and "imaginative" and "edgy", which are all weasel words anyway.

        But since the weasels are guarding the door....

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

          First, what nmstevens said (which is nearly always the case, it seems).

          Secondly, I hear you and somewhat fall into the same category with my writing. I have accepted the fact that on some level I will always bring quirky and weird to the table and a kind of skewed world view.

          Since I've accepted that reality, I've tried to really focus on high concept/commercially appealing stuff a lot more than I used to. I figure there's only so much someone can take that's really different and off the wall.

          In other words, it's not easy to successfully mulitply the quirkiness and have weird characters and off the wall sequences along with twists in concepts (no way for me to know if that's what you do, just saying...).

          You kind of have to pick one or the other. So, if your crazy is in your characters and dialogue, keep your plot traditional. If your wackiness is in your plot, go with archetypal characters. That's obviously an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

          I would bet if you fell into a great concept (even if it seems somewhat been there, done that), your voice will not be lost and you'll have an incredible, commercially viable screenplay. Concept is king.

          ETA: Thirdly, Craig Mazin pretty much said what I was trying to say so go with that.
          On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

            I just want to say that maybe these stories aren't supposed to be commercial. Know what I mean? (rhetorical)

            Write the story you feel you are supposed to tell. One that carries your spirit within it.

            Eventually you will find a story that is meant to be commercial and you'll write it with that in mind.

            Just my .5cents.

            PS. Let your fans find you. Don't go chasing after them. Be you. Don't conform.

            Now time for me to listen to some scriptnotes.

            keep writing

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

              Thanks for the responses. What I think I (and the aforementioned readers) meant by making decisions that lead to my projects not being commercial, is all things, including character and structure. In the comedies, the general consensus was that the tone is too offbeat and dark, and the protagonist becomes endearing and sympathetic too late in the stories after being a little too unlikable to start, while the style of moving around in space and time in the the thriller scripts means the characters' journeys fail to resonate because the manner in which they're presented is often fairly described as "inaccessible".

              Obviously, there are other issues, and this type of writing is always going to result in polarizing responses. In Kaufman's case, he has an endearing, lighthearted manner about his work that easily transcends the weird aspects (... and quite a bit of talent, of course.) Unfortunately, my tastes are much darker (hence all the David Lynch comparisons), and I just don't appeal to anything more than a small segment of people. Hopefully, I'll stumble upon a concept that inspires me to compromise with expectations and make better choices that result in a script that resonates with a wider audience.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                Great suggestion to try to work in a genre even if want to put an original spin on it.

                Reminds me of Terry Rossio's excellent wordplay column on "mental real estate" and known elements: "It's just as easy to be passionate about a story with some known elements as it is to be passionate about a story with no known elements."

                http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/wp...al.Estate.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                  Originally posted by Craig Mazin View Post
                  I think NMS gets it right here. Stories are a bit like cooking. You may be Grant Achatz, and your style may involve molecular gastronomy the likes of which no one's seen.

                  But it's still food, and it has to fill a belly.

                  Kaufman and Lynch deliver narrative in unique ways, but the core of their work touches universal chords, which is why people respond.

                  Yes, it can make for an uphill climb, but everyone's on an uphill climb.

                  One suggestion: since your voice is unique, try writing a genre story. Twin Peaks wasn't anything more than a serialized Murder She Wrote + Lynch, right?

                  Look at True Detective (if you haven't watched it yet). Two detectives track down a serial killer. Yawnsville. Except the voice... unlike anything I've ever watched. Best first five episodes of a TV show EVER.

                  Sometimes that's all it takes. Give people a comfortable, familiar plot, and then do your thing all over it. Suddenly your "weird" and "strange" and "quirky" turn to "fresh" and "imaginative" and "edgy", which are all weasel words anyway.

                  But since the weasels are guarding the door....
                  The suggestion about the genre story is interesting. I wrote this bland thriller about a woman reclaiming her dignity and getting revenge on some men who imprisoned her and stole her baby, while keeping the structure entirely traditional. It was basically Oldboy written for a Lifetime crowd.

                  I got one read from an intern at a major management company. He passed it to another intern, who then gave it to the assistant. Based on the excitement of both interns, the assistant called with great enthusiasm and offered to informally develop the script with me--without even reading it first. He loved it, and developed several drafts with me to ultimately take to his boss, but left the company in the process and the arrangement fizzled out.

                  They thought the voice was so distinctly like Korean thrillers, but I couldn't even find my voice in it, and I thought the script was worthless.

                  On a side note, yeah, the voice in TRUE DETECTIVE is amazing. I almost resorted to a fist-pump at the end of episode three.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                    I don't understand how you can't use your voice to write more accessible material. Eg: take your mum and dad and put them in a show with commercial appeal. The Sopranos was a hit, right? Swap Tony's battleaxe, manipulative mum for an alcoholic. Or Harry Dean Stanton's role in Pretty in Pink with your dad. Or a Dawson's Creek style show with you as the protag. Just look at the nerdy and terribly unfunny Big Bang Theory.

                    You can rewrite your whole life story or just take elements and forge new stories with them - but there's nothing I can see that stops you writing accessible fare. Dweezil Zappa can hang with the best straight ahead 4/4 heavy rockers just as easily as his dad's avant-garde 19/20 exploration jazz-fusion that only 3 people in 100,000 can listen to without their heads exploding. We've all witnessed weird stuff so I don't see your upbringing being an issue. However if you write 12 act, non-linear, mimes then that's a different story - and nothing to do with your growing up.

                    Not to be a doomsayer but are "quirky", "edgy", "unique" etc genuine or etc just polite ways of saying "no, not good enough"? It may be wishful thinking but if you were the next Charlie Kaufman then I would've thought someone would pass you on to whoever digs that stuff rather than just "not for me". There has to be more reason than just "off-beat" for you to be getting 6s on the BL. I strongly recommend you post your full reviews as many others have so that we can see the full picture and not just a few snippets.

                    Either way, there's a big difference between making things more accessible and writing soulless, bland stuff that you have no interest in. No one is saying to do the latter because as you've found out - your work will always suffer as a result and you can't blame people for passing on such fare. As for dark - don't worry - that's where I reside. Dark, edgy and nihilisitc. But in an accessible way: The Shield, Saw, Boogie Nights, Escape From New York, The Hitcher, Reservoir Dogs etc. But even then it makes me kinda niche. Ultimately, if your heart lies in truly off-beat material then it's gonna be a struggle to find an audience.

                    As for what do you do to correct the fact your biggest strength is your biggest weakness, that's tough unless you can find a way to "fit in" (ad I can't see why not). The problem is you're asking people to invest a lot of money in you and that requires a lot of people in Audience Land to repay that trust. An avant-garde, out-there, jazz-fusion band doesn't need an audience to hold true to its artistic sensibilities. They may only be able to cobble 15 fans in an entire city but they'll cover the fee the bar pays the band to play. Even with no paying venues, they can stay a garage band and still be eternally happy. If you can be happy in just writing then that's great but if you want to be signed and get on the screen then you're going to have to squeeze your square peg into a round hole.

                    And if all else fails, target UK lit agents and producers


                    Originally posted by Craig Mazin View Post
                    But since the weasels are guarding the door....
                    That's gonna be my new sig
                    Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 02-18-2014, 04:01 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                      Seems to me your best bets would be to keep submitting your material until you find someone that it clicks with to be your champion, or find a way to produce something of your own and get it out there to build a fan base.

                      With no credits or name, a truly unique voice is going to be a burden. Managers and agents might say they want a unique voice, but what they want is a unique voice who can hit all the same beats that executives are looking for. They want something completely different that is exactly the same.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                        Originally posted by GhostWhite View Post
                        but reviews on my first two in scripts in that genre (from the Black List) have scored no better than 6 overall with comments like, "The writer's unique voice and sensibility are refreshing."...the anything-but-the-kitchen-sink style garnered more than a few big laughs" ... "...a lot of fun" ... "...admittedly quite funny." ... "... makes for some engaging sequences." ... "...aims for the low-hanging fruit in pretty hilarious fashion." ... and, back to my point, negating all of the positive aspects, "A lot of the choices that could be praised above also lead to the script's weaknesses.".
                        Which were what?

                        Exactly?

                        I'm not hearing in your long post what everyone says the weaknesses are. It sounds, possibly, like you create something wonderful but without the essential structure to support it. If that's true, it's not just the way you write, it's a technique to learn. It's an infrastructure problem, like your childhood.

                        Maybe you can find a writing partner who is good at what you aren't.
                        wry

                        The rule is the first fifteen pages should enthrall me, but truth is, I'm only giving you about 3-5 pages. ~ Hollywood Script Reader

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                          OP can you post examples of your "unique" loglines, short treatments, dialogue snippets, etc?

                          As others suggest you may not have found the right reader for your voice. Your posts seem literate, well-written and such...much more so than many who post here. Writing commercial work is something you ought to be capable of....

                          One thing to consider: you may not actually be that unusual. Fetishizing a supposedly "unique voice" and "obscure" structure may be an excuse for not thinking through simple storytelling as craft. (Nothing is unusual about having a pothead and alcoholic for parents. "Surreal" is easy. Storytelling is hard.)

                          As one Black List reviewer seemed to suggest by the comment that you are "aiming for low-hanging fruit" - maybe you aren't trying hard enough? Do you want to be understood? Why can't you be? And why write only dark material - even as comedies?? Why not broaden your voice like Shakespeare - a little Macbeth, some Midsummer's Night Dream...it won't lessen you as a writer.

                          http://www.adultchildren.org <-- rooms stuffed with "unique" experiences; still can't tell stories.
                          @oceanbluesky

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                            Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                            I don't understand how you can't use your voice to write more accessible material. Eg: take your mum and dad and put them in a show with commercial appeal. The Sopranos was a hit, right? Swap Tony's battleaxe, manipulative mum for an alcoholic. Or Harry Dean Stanton's role in Pretty in Pink with your dad. Or a Dawson's Creek style show with you as the protag. Just look at the nerdy and terribly unfunny Big Bang Theory.

                            You can rewrite your whole life story or just take elements and forge new stories with them - but there's nothing I can see that stops you writing accessible fare. Dweezil Zappa can hang with the best straight ahead 4/4 heavy rockers just as easily as his dad's avant-garde 19/20 exploration jazz-fusion that only 3 people in 100,000 can listen to without their heads exploding.

                            And not to be a doomsayer but are "quirky", "edgy", "unique" etc genuine or etc just polite ways of saying "no, not good enough"? It may be wishful thinking but if you were the next Charlie Kaufman then I would've thought someone would pass you on to whoever digs that stuff rather than just "not for me".
                            And if all else fails, target UK lit agents and producers

                            Either way, there's a big difference between making things more accessible and writing soulless, bland stuff that you have no interest in. No one is saying to do the latter because as you've found out - your work will always suffer as a result and you can't blame people for passing on such fare. As for dark - don't worry - that's where I reside. Dark, edgy and nihilisitc. But in an accessible way: The Shield, Saw, Boogie Nights, Escape From New York, The Hitcher, Reservoir Dogs etc. Ultimately, if your heart lies in truly off-beat material then it's gonna be a struggle to find an audience.



                            That's gonna be my new sig
                            This might help explain the issue I was trying to convey previously. I'm definitely not suggesting I'm writing great scripts like Charlie Kaufman and people are passing; I'm just suggesting the biggest weakness and strength most often pointed out to me by others are simultaneously the voice. When I wrote for the theater, my first full-length play won a writing competition and received a full-scale production that lasted seven weeks. (Of course, all the comparisons then were to Harold Pinter.) The final judge of the contest, who was a dramaturg for a major theater who had worked closely with Pulitzer Prize winners like Edward Albee and Suzan Lori Parks, asked to meet me for the sole purpose of explaining that the unique voice I possessed was an incredible gift. (This was old news to me by then because my teachers had been calling home since third grade to say the same.) A couple of reviewers raved about the "gift for language" and how I was "a talented writer", with one even suggesting it was a "masterful play" ... but they, as well as the audience members, had absolutely no clue what actually happened in the story. The next year I showed up somewhere to receive an award for another play I wrote, and the actors doing the reading that night were unable to understand what had taken place in the story. It can be that bad. So, perhaps terms like dark and metaphysical would be more appropriate than edgy or quirky, which are actually two words I've never seen used to describe anything I've written. If I'm naive regarding the voice, then people have been trying to appease me for a very long time, because my experience has been exactly the same in every medium I've tried, from fiction to plays to screenwriting. Switching to writing comedy erased the metaphysical aspect, but manifested itself in plausibility issues because of how outrageous the style remains.

                            I think your suggestion about incorporating my family and/or experiences into my writing is a great one, and I did exactly that a while back with a fantasy thriller that covered my family's strange history since WWII. I uploaded it to the Black List and scored an 8 overall (8s across the board, but 7 for premise). Very few people downloaded it, and only another handful requested it through queries. I got about three or four open doors to submit in the future, one referral from a read (I believe from a manager who frequents this site, not sure), and a long phone call from that aforementioned referral pitching his company and raving about, you guessed it, how the voice was so strong and really resonated with him, BUT ... he wasn't able to follow the narrative. He asked for another script, a very strange contained thriller which had a director attached at the time (and another interested), and I never heard from him again.

                            And with that, you've inspired me to pop in my DVD of Escape from New York. (Admittedly, the abandoned WTC featured so prominently is more than a little creepy these days, but Carpenter playing theme songs on a synthesizer is always great.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: When a Unique Voice is a Problem

                              Originally posted by wrytnow View Post
                              Which were what?

                              Exactly?

                              I'm not hearing in your long post what everyone says the weaknesses are. It sounds, possibly, like you create something wonderful but without the essential structure to support it. If that's true, it's not just the way you write, it's a technique to learn. It's an infrastructure problem, like your childhood.

                              Maybe you can find a writing partner who is good at what you aren't.
                              The weaknesses were listed in a generalized way in a subsequent post because, for the most part, they largely fit one of two scenarios: In comedy, my protagonists don't resonate because they start off too unlikable due to their dark, outrageous choices that sometimes challenge plausibility. In thriller material, I connect the dots in strange and/or metaphysical ways described as inaccessible, leading to their journeys falling flat, as it pertains to emotional resonance.

                              For example, from a BL reader in the strengths section of a comedy:Though he skews a bit too unlikable, much of Zach's debauched, misanthropic behavior is admittedly quite funny (e.g. "How's your husband? He still dead?"), and he eventually comes into his own as an endearing, sympathetic protagonist.

                              Same reader, same script, weaknesses section: As mentioned above, Zach initially comes across as too repugnant of a character, and his various acts of extortion and slapstick violence run the risk of alienating the audience.

                              A BL reader for a thriller, strengths: Interactions between characters are unique and real and the subtext of their speech and actions is artfully done.

                              Same reader and script, weaknesses: Were this film to be produced in a manner that didn't leave the audience confused, it could generate a large festival audience primarily due to its indie film noir feel.

                              Even more relevant ...

                              A BL reader for a horror/thriller, strengths: The late scenes of mass carnage may be odd from a structural viewpoint, but as self-contained scenes they're surefire jaw-droppers, with the nightclub setting in particular ripe for a truly insane massacre.

                              Same reader, same script, weaknesses: The problems the script has are best represented by the aforementioned banquet/nightclub scenes.

                              My strengths are so closely correlated to my weaknesses, it's makes it very difficult to proceed with any confidence that I'm making better choices.

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