Does working with a group of writers help?

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  • Does working with a group of writers help?

    I'm fairly new to these boards, and I was wondering if the rest of you thought there was any benefit to being a part of a writers' group. I suppose the theory that a group of many is more powerful than one does make sense, but does it make the Hollywood types take notice?

    I just joined this new screenwriting group called "Get me the writer!". They have a very cool website and the members all seem to have some decent experience and award placements. I'm hoping that by joining in with the others, I might get noticed if they get noticed.

    Any thoughts?

    If you want to check out their site it is at:

    www.getmethewriter.com

  • #2
    re: Does working with a group of writers help?

    The answer to your question is YES.

    But not for the reasons you mentioned.

    It has nothing to do with power. It is simply the best way to learn the craft through getting live feedback from other writers (and hopefully an instructor) and learning how to critique other's writing - which is just another way to learn to recognize your own mistakes.

    Edited to add: Sorry, I guess you meant "does it help you win contests." Then the answer is "no."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

      Thanks for the reply. I see what you're saying.

      I'm definitely going to try to learn as much as I can from the other members, and I love the fact that the site allows me to list short pdf samples of my scripts. That way, anyone who goes to getmethewriter.com can see my writing...even if they log on to see an entriely different writer.

      I'm going to make the most of this chance.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

        I also think Zoetrope.com is worth a look. I've had good experiences with it. Sure, there's a lot of bad scripts on there, and probably some unfriendly/unhelpful writers, but you'll still learn a lot from reviewing others and being reviewed. It's a great learning experience to realize that what you intended to convey on the page often does not get across to the reader.

        And after you've read 20 or 30 scripts, a lot of the basics will have sunk in. Give it a try.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

          If the writing on the "intro" page is any indication of the talent displayed inside, I'll take a "pass". Cumbersome.

          Maybe you should ask Will to provide a link to your web-site. In the meantime, please stop assuming we're stupid.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

            I have joined Zoetrope, and I like that site, but sometimes it is very hard to get script reviews. I feel like I have to pester and beg people for reviews and that sucks. The best part of Zoetrope is the private office option. I've found a couple of good ones, and the other members are pretty supportive.

            I also joined Trigger Street and that's been a nightmare. They promised to find new talent, but have yet to option a single script. I have a script in the Hall of Fame there, but not really sure what that means. I've been told that they are going to make some changes to the site that will be "very pleasing" to the members, but I don't know how much faith to put in that. Besides, I hate having to take a test to prove I've read a script.

            I was invited to join The Screenplayers and that group seems to be very professional although I'm not really sure how much they can help my career. They do share job leads, calls for scripts, etc so that is a definite help. They've been around for a while, so I really just lay low in the group and try to learn.

            Get me the writer group is brand new so I don't know what to make of it. Again, I'm just hoping that if I join several sites, network, and get my scripts posted, that it has to help in the end.

            In the end, these writer groups just seem to be a collective for having other people who are willing to read your scripts. Other than Screenplayers, none of them really seem to be taking positive strides to helping the members get their scripts out to Hollywood.

            Does anyone know of other groups I should investigate?

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

              ".33 Reverse Gunther" is a film listed in Triggerstreet's Hall of Fame. It was written by Austin Hodgens, who is apparently a contributor on the GetMeAWriter web-site. Are you or are you not the same "Austin"?

              I'm going to speculate at this point that you decided to forego contacting Will about providing a link to your site, fearing that he'd turn you down. Instead, you opted to take the lazy way out and just play the part of a helpful "newbie" to plug your website. As I wrote before, doing stuff like that just means you think we're too stupid to figure it out for ourselves.

              Go away. You make me wanna puke.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                Augie,

                I'm confused by your tone. I am a writer who is a member of this board and who has a valid question about writer's groups since I have been asked to join a few.

                Yes, I am a member of Trigger Street, Zoetrope, The Screenplayers, and Get me the Writer.

                No, I'm not looking for a free plug. None of them are "My sites". I'm just a writer who happens to belong to those sites. It doesn't help me any if you go and visit those sites, does it?

                All I'm trying to figure out is if it is worth my time to keep joining these groups. I feel like I put a lot of time into them, do a lot of reviewing for other members, etc, and I'm just trying to start a conversation here about whether or not these groups are any good.

                Get off my back, dude. I'm just a new guy to these boards and I'm trying to get involved by putting up some posts. Is this the way you welcome everyone to the group? If so, I want to nominate someone else to the welcoming committee because you're a little rude.

                Yes, I am the same guy who wrote .33 REVERSE GUNTHER and if you check the Done Deal archives, you'll find me listed in there for a script deal. Does that somehow make me evil? If so, please explain.

                Feeling very welcome here,

                Austin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                  Austin,

                  The question you ask is one I have often asked myself. And, in my opinion, the answer is both yes and no. Time is one of the key elements -- do you have time to work on your own projects and also give in-depth feedback to others? In my case, I don't have time to do both. I pay a reasonable fee to have "credentialed" people read my work.

                  I think Zoetrope in particular is a great site if you are willing to invest the time.

                  Peek

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                    Peek,

                    I appreciate your kind, non-aggressive answer. I was starting to think that I'd traveled to the wrong side of the tracks and didn't have enough for car fare to get home.

                    I really loved Trigger when it first started, and I did over 100 reviews, but then the place just got ugly. Dana seems to be very short tempered and mean spirited. Reviewers seem to take as much joy in writing a nasty review as they do in taking the time to actually critique a script.

                    I enjoy writing groups as long as all the other members are serious and willing to participate. I'm always up for doing my share of the reveiwing just so long as the other members put as much time and thought into reviews of my work.

                    Good to know not everyone in this group is a grump.


                    Austin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                      The only people who should critique your script, if you are serious about the slim chance of success, are those who are qualified to do so. IMO, those who are actively involved as professional readers, repped pro writers, execs, story editors, producers, etc.

                      You do want to sell or get assignment, correct?

                      You don't want just opinions, because even solid pros will differ on some areas. Nobody knows everything, or they would all be rich. You want solid critique based on an industry look at the work in terms of concept commerciality, dramaturgy, structure, and castability.

                      If you know people like this, they will probably help you out if they like you. Until then, I would not think twice about paying for it, if that is what is required, WITHIN REASON.

                      There are people here and on other sites that are in this category, but it's to your due diligence to find out who they are.

                      Groups are great, as long as your information is coming from a source that knows what the heck they are talking about.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                        Austin, the attitude you are getting is because the suspicion is that the web site is your own web site,which you are plugging while pretending to be someone else.

                        I don't think that is the case. But I'm curious about this web site. How did you get invited to participate? I see nowhere on the site to APPLY for membership. Also, I don't get the characterization of this as a "writer's group". It appears to me to be a marketting site. Are you saying you are also getting reviews and critiques from the other members?

                        At first glance it seems the sp's on the site are high quality. I can't comment on whether it will turn out to be an effective marketting tool. But at least you're in good company!

                        Blank

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                          "I'm fairly new to these boards, and I was wondering if the rest of you thought there was any benefit to being a part of a writers' group. I suppose the theory that a group of many is more powerful than one does make sense, but does it make the Hollywood types take notice?

                          I just joined this new screenwriting group called "Get me the writer!". They have a very cool website and the members all seem to have some decent experience and award placements. I'm hoping that by joining in with the others, I might get noticed if they get noticed.

                          Any thoughts?

                          If you want to check out their site it is at:

                          www.getmethewriter.com"
                          "Thanks for the reply. I see what you're saying.

                          I'm definitely going to try to learn as much as I can from the other members, and I love the fact that the site allows me to list short pdf samples of my scripts. That way, anyone who goes to getmeawriter.com can see my writing...even if they log on to see an entriely different writer.

                          I'm going to make the most of this chance."
                          Augie,

                          I'm confused by your tone. I am a writer who is a member of this board and who has a valid question about writer's groups since I have been asked to join a few.

                          Yes, I am a member of Trigger Street, Zoetrope, The Screenplayers, and Get me the Writer.

                          No, I'm not looking for a free plug. None of them are "My sites". I'm just a writer who happens to belong to those sites. It doesn't help me any if you go and visit those sites, does it?"

                          From the getmeawriter.com web-site (italics are mine):

                          Each of these professionals was chosen because the writing is of the highest standard.
                          From the ScreenPlayers web-site (italics are mine):
                          To maintain a society of talented writers who share a positive, professional attitude and a commitment to success: to provide a forum for these writers to bring their stories to the attention of the filmmaking community.

                          The fact is, Austin, that both the Screenplayers web-site and getmeawriter.com are strictly marketing tools. They're both designed to put your work and the work of the other members in the public eye in the hopes of representation or a sale or both. From what I can see, BlankPaige is correct: nowhere does either site offer or encourage interaction between the active "members" of those groups and aspiring screenwriters outside of the groups' "inner circles". Zoetrope and TriggerStreet, on the other hand, exist primarily as a mechanism to give and receive feedback on the scripts posted by their members. While you will most certainly argue that we Done Deal-ers could benefit from the ability to peruse the scripts posted by you and the other members in your groups, you and I both know that our access to the scripts stems not from some driving desire on your part to help others outside the "group", but by a need to put your work where it can be easily accessed and reviewed by those in the industry who can help your careers. To that extent, we at Done Deal have been granted the ability to see your stuff only because limiting our access would also restrict the ability of your target-audience (people who buy scripts) to easily see your work. You could have directed us to TriggerStreet to see your script, but you didn't. Of course, a visit to TriggerStreet might require that "we" go through the hassle of becoming a member and then scour their site to locate your script among hundreds of others. Hollywood script-buyers can find your script without all the hassle at getmeawriter.com. Isn't that the whole point?

                          Therefore, I'm amused that you would even ask how my visiting the getmeawriter.com web-site helps you at all. Well, come on, somebody's gotta be paying for its existence. If the owner(s) aren't expecting you to contribute actual dollars to offset the cost of the site, you've got a sweet deal! Doesn't it make sense that the people paying for the web-site would expect some sort of return for their investment? How do they hope to realize that return if people don't visit the web-site? Of course, you benefit from me (and others who read about your site here) visiting getmethewriter.com! Why else would it exist? Even if the benefit is only a boost to your fragile egos...hey, that's something!

                          While you continue to vainly proclaim that your intentions were honorable and above-board, the fact remains that your first two posts in this thread (in fact, your first two posts anywhere on these boards) touted a specific web-site (getmeawriter.com). You encouraged us to visit the web-site, knowing full well that there is nothing in its content that could help us. In your second post, you again touted the benefits of membership in getmeawriter, and again mentioned the specific web-site address. Zoetrope, TriggerStreet, and ScreenPlayers never came up. You mentioned that scripts are listed in ".pdf" format, even though that knowledge couldn't possibly benefit us as much as it benefits the existing members of getmeawriter. That was clearly self-promotion; you wanted potential buyers to know that they can easily read your screenplays. Your posts here aren't directed at DD members at all; you're hoping a "big fish" passes by here and sees your "bait".

                          It wasn't until I politely asked that you stop assuming that we Done Deal-ers are stupid that your part of the conversation was expanded to include other web-sites. It's abundantly clear that you'd switched to damage-control mode and you were trying (again, in vain) to mask your original intentions. We aren't fooled that easily; when is that going to sink in?

                          You can continue to protest that getmeawriter and the screenplayers web-site aren't "yours", but the truth is that you are one of the few people (the members) who hopes to benefit from the web-sites' existence. You obviously believe that to be true, too, or you wouldn't have bothered to join them. It stands to reason that you're more likely to benefit as traffic to those sites increases; it's all about the number of "visits", is it not? The more hits your sites receive, the more likely you are to make a sale. So, it makes perfect sense that you would be eager to put the word out about the site. What doesn't make sense is that you would show up in a forum you've never even participated in before and expect the members there to fall for your blatant marketing ploy disguised as a helpful discussion of screenwriters' groups in general. It's just not going to happen! The knowledge that a site such as getmeawriter even exists doesn't do us any good at all.

                          So, keep up your little "innocent" charade as long as you like; my posts on this subject aren't going away, if I can help it. The cat is forever out of the bag. If you want respect on these boards, I suggest you turn around, walk out the door, and try coming back in with a little more respect for the members already here. And leave the sandwich-boards outside. Try bringing something that might help us next time.

                          You may have the last word. I'm finished with this thread.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                            Blank,

                            The group was started by a group of friends who met via Trigger Street and the Trigger Street office on Zoetrope. I am a member of both sites, know those people, etc. Since I recently moved to Maine from LA, I'm trying to hook up with as many screenwriting groups as possible now that I am no longer living in Southern Cal where I could go to meetings with managers, directors, producers, etc.

                            The general idea of GMTW was that everyone got tired of waiting for Trigger Street to discover us. I know I definitely fell into that category. GUNTHER made the Top 10 on Trigger in the first weeks of the site's existence, and then I waited excitedly to be contacted. For those of you who aren't familiar with Trigger Street, the deal is that if your script ever makes it to the Top 10, you give Trigger Street 90 days to negotiate a deal with you.

                            Well, I really thought that Dana Brunetti was going to call me, but he never did. Then another of my scripts made the Top 10, and so on...

                            So, this Get me the Writer site was born out of the idea that a smaller group of writers might be able to make just as much of a splash. Many of the 13 members have scripts in the Trigger Street Top 10 or Zoetrope Top 3. The idea was just to start a site and see if Hollywood types would check it out because Zoetrope and Trigger Street weren't getting us anywhere.

                            If you check Zoetrope this morning, there seems to be a riot breaking out on the main boards again. Sometimes, I don't get how these groups work...

                            There is an email address on the site for people who are interested in joining. I believe it is [email protected].

                            We have a private office on Zoetrope and in this office we workshop each others loglines, read each other's scripts, and give general support. It is definitely a writer's group, and I can honeslty say that I am much more confident in sending out my query letters now that I've workshopped my loglines on the site. It also helps to be able to mention this site and the Screenplayers when I send out my queries.

                            For the record, I am a member of the site, and I just wanted to talk about writing group in general since the title of this discussion board says it includes talk about writing groups to which we belong.

                            I joined this message board for similar reasons. I'm no longer in LA and I want to network. The agents and managers boards have been very helpful, and I just put up a post on this board to try to get a conversation going and meet some people.

                            It's all about networking.


                            Austin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: re: Does working with a group of writers help?

                              Augie,

                              Sorry, but I only saw your post after I replied to the one before it.

                              Again, what the hell is your problem?

                              I don't have a script currently up on Zoetrope, so why would I tell anyone to go there? I have two scripts up on Trigger Street, but I hate the site and very rarely go there myself. I only log on when I get an email that I've gotten a review.

                              Both the Screenplayers and Get me the Writer are open to new members...just like Trigger St and Zoetrope.

                              Again I ask, what is your problem? The title of this message board includes a mention about discussing any writing groups you belong to. I belong to a new writers' group and I mentioned it. I would mention that I belong to the Done Deal message boards, too, but I think you already know that.

                              You seem to be very uptight. This message board is supposed to be about writers groups. I mentioned a writers group and get you up my butt. Why is that?

                              Can I not be a member here because I mentioned a writers' group that doesn't have your approval? Do I need to run all my posts past you before I put them on any board in Done Deal or simply the posts I want to put on this board?

                              Please let me know, Augie, because I am eager to keep a total stranger happy. Especially one who is so rude and "hall monitorish".

                              Happy Holidays, you sweet hearted welcome wagon!

                              Comment

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