What Marie Kondo can teach you about rewriting your script.
If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, then you’re probably living under a very untidy rock.
Marie Kondo is the author of the bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the star of the new Netflix series “Tidying Up” which has become the hot water-cooler conversation of late.
Ms. Kondo is an organizational guru who changes lives by changing how you keep your home clean.
So, my Type A peeps out there? You’re going to love her. And the non-Type A’s? She’s just what your cluttered closet ordered.
Her basic principle of “tidying” is pretty simple. Instead of looking at what is in your closet and saying, “What should I throw away,” she turns the question around to ask a positive one . . . “What should I keep?” And her rule about what stays around is . . .
Only hold on to items that “spark joy.”
So vivid, right?
A sweater that sparks joy stays. If you don’t feel joyous when you put on those jeans, out they go. Same with trinkets or books . . . or even people. 🙂
This got me to thinking about how to apply it to the development of shows and more specifically, how Authors should deal with the notes they get on a script.
If you’re a writer then you know . . . everyone has an idea on how to rewrite your script, right? And every time you do a reading or send it around, you probably get so many notes, you don’t know where to start . . . and end up not starting at all.
Feedback can be overwhelming, which is why I suggest following the Marie Kondo approach.
See, too many writers I know (especially new ones) take ALL the notes they are given by all the various people who give them . . . and the next draft ends up looking like some kind of collage of a show with no singular vision.
Writers need to know how to filter the feedback they receive, so the show gets better and remains the same show the writer wants to write.
How do you filter?
You Kondo your feedback.
Writers should only take notes that “spark joy.”
When you get a note, you should think about it, roll it around, debate it if you must, and wait for it to give you a burning desire to get back to the keyboard to make the change.
If it doesn’t even get you excited about doing the rewrite? Forget the note altogether. Because even if you take it, you won’t write it well, so why bother?
To be a successful rewriter, you must be enthusiastic about the process if you’re going to improve your script.
But you should never sacrifice the story that you want to tell just because someone else has ideas on how they would write it.
They are not you. The script is not theirs. It’s yours.
So write the show you want to write, and let Marie Kondo make it even tidier.
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