Critique tracking via spreadsheet

May 15, 2011

Well, the new draft of “The Landing” has been finalized, and sent off both to Chris McKitterick at the CSSF in Kansas, but also to Lightspeed magazine.

I was more than a little daunted by the prospect of going through the seventeen different critiques I received on the story from critters.org, ranging from one short paragraph all the way up to one critique approximately three-quarters the word count of the submitted story! I copied them all from my gmail into a single text file on Thursday night, and tried to go over some of them Friday night at Runnymede, but didn’t really get that far.

So, yesterday night, I finally got systematic. I set up an Excel spreadsheet file, starting one tab with a list of the different critiques, including the origin email, the starting and ending position in my text file, and working out how long each critique was in lines. This was then sorted in ascending order of length, so that I could start with the shorter critiques and work up progressively through longer and longer ones.

(I formatted the email addresses in white on a white background, to preserve the anonymity of critters.)

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Three Weeks to Script Frenzy!

March 11, 2011

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for Script Frenzy for a little while now, and here’s what I’ve got so far:

My Logline: A naive salvage pilot and engineer from Earth get lost in a distant part of the galaxy on their way home, and involved with a charming Alien Mafia Lady who has the star charts that can get them back home.

I actually worked backwards to this, thinking that I wanted to write something science fiction and going through some of the story genres, before settling on a Golden Fleece, and wondering what would make a compelling ‘Road trip through Space’ kind of movie.

Let’s give it the Blake Snyder chapter 1 logline tests:

* An ironic hook? Well, yeah. The irony doesn’t have anything to do with the science-fiction aspects, just that my poor working schlub heroes are getting in bed with the crime lord, as it were.
* Compelling mental picture? It works that way for me. I’ll try to get some more feedback on it from other people over at the Script Frenzy forums.
* Audience and cost? I think it gives a pretty good notion of the cost to start with – it’ll be a bit on the high-side, because science fiction space effects don’t come cheap, but will be closer to the range of a typical crime thriller than a really big sci-fi action-adventure blockbuster. And you’ve got science fiction nuts in the audience, and crime thriller types, and anybody who really appreciates fish-out-of-water comedies.
* A Killer Title? Okay, I admit I’m coming up blank on this one so far… how to sum up all of that, especially the irony, in a title??

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