What I liked
As a creative writing major, going into my internship with Abbot, one of my key goals was to develop a deeper understanding of the craft of screenwriting—a part of the writing world that seemed imposing and unfamiliar to me, especially compared to novels or short stories. That's exactly what I got. Abbot provides its readers with a rather prescriptive set of guidelines to use for evaluating scripts. While I initially worried this would be limiting, it was the exact opposite. Learning how to isolate different components of a script—or really, a story—and speak about them on their own merits instead of within the safety of an interconnected, mushy analysis leads to more precise feedback. I can see a change in how I evaluate my own writing as well, even when the piece in question isn't a screenplay. In that vein, the feedback was always centered around being helpful, which meant not just saying what was wrong, but coming up with potential ways to address those issues. Again, this pushed me to delve deeper into the mechanics of a story. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges was discerning the difference between what I wanted for the story and what the story wanted for the story—another subtle but crucial point. This is all to say that Abbot is for you if you care about the art of writing or filmmaking and want to push yourself to do truly detailed work that will ingrain you in craft.