3. Finding the heart and soul of your story
I’ve spent years consulting with writers and producers, and many times when I’m hired onto a project that’s been struggling, the first thing people want to do is send me the mountain of drafts and series bibles that, so far, haven’t worked.
My job is to really help them and in order to do that, I must tactfully suggest that, instead, we spend an hour of time together, face to face. This is my opportunity to ask them to tell me about their idea or story. How did they come up with the idea and what is it about this show or story that they truly love? This hour will be the most important hour for my clients since it brings them back to the simple idea and the moment they fell in love with the story before it became too busy, too complicated or just went sideways. As for me, I listen to what they say and discover more about the heart and soul of the project than I could possibly learn from reading through the mountain of discarded drafts.
So here’s this weeks tip and something that will save you wasted time and money. Ask yourself, “What is this story about? What is the underlying meaning and why is it important to me?” Write your thoughts down and rewrite it until it’s crystal clear. Then read it to some friends or colleagues, listen to their feedback, and then sit down and rewrite it again. Don’t move on with the project until their response is “I get it and I love it”!