If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in the Creative Writing program at UBC (there isn’t; I’ve learned a lot of things) it’s to be open to change.
A lot of times in the past (ha! like I don’t still do it) I’ve figured out some storyline (for instance) and decided that This Is How It Will Be, and I write, and I show it to Other People, and they say that it doesn’t quite work and what if it was done this way? And I decide that they just Didn’t Get It and that my way’s still better. Or, in the case where I’m basing what I’m writing on something else, that I need to Stay True to the Original.
But sometimes that just doesn’t make for as good a story.
But I’m learning. The workshopping process has really led me to realize that sometimes Other People are right (gasp) and that there are always ways for me to still accomplish what I’m trying to do and change things to make it better.
Example! Today I had my Writing for Television class, and we were workshopping my outline for a TV show pilot. The show and the pilot that I’m working on are loosely (read: heavily) based on a d20 Modern (Dungeons & Dragons in present day) campaign I’ve played in for the last few years. I actually started writing it as a TV show a few years ago, but then decided to rework it for class (read: make it better). And even doing this outline, I Changed Things from the original game to make it work better as a TV show. But then in class today, some pretty radical changes were suggested, moving things around and focusing on some different events to Make It Better.
And rather than be stubborn and refuse to listen and stick to the original, I thought about it. And I’m still not sure how I can make it work to accomplish what I want to accomplish while also making some of the suggested changes, but I’m thinking about it. I’ll work it out.
And it won’t be the same as the original. I’ll have to make concessions.
But it will be a stronger piece because of it.