Saturday, May 17, 2008

Writer's Salon is a hit

Earlier today I was part of the pilot episode of The Rouge Wave's Writer's Salon.

Three other writers and I brought our laptops and our ideas to an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, where we discussed our stories and got advice from professional script consultants. Julie - The Rouge Wave's actual name - wants to make this a regular thing and I think that's a fantastic idea.

Two of us were working on dramas. Two of us were working on high concept romantic comedies. All of us had strong story ideas but a few stumbling blocks preventing us from carrying our scripts to greatness. All four of us came out of that meeting with a better understanding of where we're headed.

When I arrived, I thought my problem was that my story was too much like Crash and I was spending too much time on the wrong protagonist. It turns out that wasn't my problem at all. My problem was that I had a cool idea and some interesting scenes, but not a lot of energy pushing the story forward. There was no urgency.

So after brainstorming a few suggestions we came up with a great set of changes that suddenly makes my story a whole bunch of times better without destroying the original concept. And now I'm super excited.

Usually I don't get that kind of feedback until I've finished my first draft and hear the criticism from my writers group. This time I got it right up front. That was important. I have a tendency to get to a point in the script where I'm not sure how to proceed so I just stop and toss it. I have a feeling that would have happened her too if I hadn't gotten the advice I did today, and now this story could really be something.

So I have to say the inaugural Writer's Salon was definitely worth the time. One girl drove down from Napa to participate but I think she got enough out of it to justify her trip. I hope she went to Pink's Hot Dogs while she was in town.

Plus there were cupcakes.

Julie plans to turn this into a recurring thing, so keep an eye out for the next installment.


  1. That sounds awesome (um, hello, cupcakes??). Is this a writer's group or is part of the Script Department? I have screenwriting classes, but it would be nice to work in a smaller (more dedicated) writer's group as well.

    And this is totally random, Emily, but I figured you might be a good person to ask since you're writing a Pushing Daisies spec - I can only find four episodes on the network website. Do you know if there's any other place you can find them online? Thanks!


  2. Honestly I have no idea where to get Pushing Daisies scripts other than the usual places.

    As for the Salon, it's an experimental thing Julie started, I think because she wants to do more individual work with screenwriters. I think she wants it to be a rotating group, not a "writers group" exactly.

    And yeah, I recommend writers groups. I'll talk about that more soon I think.


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