Twitter introduces me and John August

John August
John August

Something cool happened on Twitter.

Yeah, I know. I didn’t see it coming either.

John August, amazingly successful and talented screenwriter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Go, The Nines, Big Fish, and others, is working on an idea for a “long short story or short novella”. He put the word out via his Twitter feed, looking for 11 people to read the first draft and offer feedback.

I didn’t see the posting in time, but he promised a call for a second round, so I kept my eyes peeled. Sho’ nuff, a couple days later he posted again, looking for another 11 people to read the second draft. As I was obsessively monitoring for said posting, I jumped on it, and got in.

John kindly provided a PDF of his small project (25 pages), a list of specific questions he’d like us to address, and was also open to any other feedback we might have.

It was cool to read something of his that was not a screenplay. It’s always a treat to have a chance to interact with professionals whom you respect, in a field you fancy yourself a part of.

I’m hopeful that my feedback was indeed valuable, and I tried not to be a fawning sycophant. I got a little obsessed with one passage that didn’t work for me, and provided lengthy notes on why I thought it needed changing. It may have read as thorough, or it may have read as a bit OCD. I’m hoping the former.

Certainly, this is something that could have happened without Twitter — he could have reached out to people on his mailing list (should he have one) or visitors to his blog. He could have posted on craigslist. Twitter didn’t make this event possible… but it did facilitate the event in this case, and I’m glad of it.

So thanks, Twitter. That was a bit of all right. You don’t suck quite as hard as I said you do.

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