This marks Ben’s final Dispatch from The Quest:
Finishing up the first draft of a script feels a lot like that. Especially the last part. Proud. Jubilation. Maybe some dancing. And then you read the script (and other people do to) and you realize there’s still so much work to do. Like writing any script, it involved a lot of late nights. Staring at a blinking cursor. Spending nearly every waking moment thinking about how certain things could play out, or what would happen if a character did that instead of this. Things that every writer faces but don’t always add up to a finished story.
What The Quest provided was the motivation (other people will be reading this!), the pressure (other people will be reading this!), and the guideposts along the way that made each weekly goal attainable.
Scott and the Questonauts (band name) are the reasons I made it to the last page, and why I have the confidence to grab a red pen and tackle the rewrite. Having a group of peers was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to be a participant in the The Quest, and at the end of it is one of the best parts of the whole experience. Everybody in this group is so talented it’s intimidating – I know it forced me to up my game.
The lessons Scott provided, as well as being an axe-wielding, profanity-laden, cheerleader of our work was another huge deal. He made each of us dig deep into our stories and chracters and make tough choices. Choices that rarely lead to an easy fix. Sometimes it was an entire rewrite of the script. Sometimes it was a closer examination of a character to see what was or wasn’t working. No matter what, though, he always instilled the confidence we would need to make those choices.
A lot of us will be mentioning confidence in these final dispatches, because it’s such a big part of this whole business. From typing “Fade In”, to writing, to rewriting, to whatever comes next, having confidence is a big deal and The Quest has rekindled that in me. When I start my next script, it will be with the lessons learned from these 24 weeks. When I hit a wall, it will be with the knowledge that that wall is made out of those flimsy, generic bricks, instead of the industrial strength kind.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Let’s all write something awesome.
About Ben: Maine writer with a love for pulpy genre movies, keeping library books out for a little too long, and strong coffee. Twitter: @benodgren.