When you’ve recovered from completing the very first complete draft of your script and are about to take a look at what you’ve got, it’s useful to think of yourself as potter at the wheel.  Your first draft is your raw clay, and your job now is to work and rework that clay in your hands as it spins on the wheel.

You may have to work through it over and over until it has the exact texture, thickness, and shape you want.  Like a potter, you only produce a finished piece of quality in this way, one pass-through after another.  And slowly your script responds to your steady, gentle coaxing.  There’s real craft involve here, of course.  But success also depends on attitude, on patience as you take it one step at a time, on getting in there and working through it again and again.

In the end, you have to trust that eventually a piece will emerge that you can take off the wheel, glaze, and fire in the kiln.

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I’m the Program Director of the low-residency MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen being offered by the New Hampshire Institute of Art.  Our last residency ran from June 22 to July 1 and we’re currently still considering applications for starting the program this coming January at our residency scheduled for January 5-14, 2018.  If you’re interested in finding out more about our program, email me at buzzmclaughlin@gmail.com and we can start a dialogue.

I’m also a playwright and screenwriter, producing partner in my production company Either/Or Films (The Sensation of Sight and Only Daughter) a professional script consultant, and the author of The Playwright’s Process.  You can follow me on Twitter @eitherorfilms or @mfastagescreen.  I’m also on Facebook at buzzmclaughlinscriptconsulting.