TIPS ON WRITING


ReWriting: Giving Your Script a Major Do-Over.

First rule of ReWriting: BE HONEST!

Two types of scripts to ReWrite:

  1. One that was put in drawer long ago. You have to decide whether this was great first attempt but time to move on or is there potential here and time to work on it.
  2. One you just finished.

DRAFT 1 Ė one of the above.† Now get to work.

DRAFT 2 Ė Only do the following during Draft 2

  1. Get away from it.† If you just finished with Draft 1, put it away for a week or two.† Think over things before starting Draft 2 stage.†
  2. Read it straight through.† Donít stop to think of changes or new things.† Read it like a paid reader would.
  3. Start looking at it globally: beginning, middle, end.
  4. Make a lists of the scenes.† Look that list over.† Are the scenes flowing?† Can you cut out some that donít advance the story?†
  5. Are there big scenes, ďtrailer moments?Ē
  6. Do the scenes add up to a page turner?† Do you want to know what happens next?
  7. Use the 3 Act Structure: beginning, middle, end.
  8. Ask yourself, did your script start too soon?† Too late?
  9. Donít hold back information.† Without information, scenes become unclear.† Thereís more drama in knowing whatís going on than in going for the big surprise.
  10. Put it away again; for a day, a week...

DRAFT 3

  1. Review & revise work done in Draft 2.
  2. Read it again, straight through.
  3. Look at main characters.† Do they have an arc?† Do they change?† Are they pushing the story forward?
  4. Read dialogue out loud.† Can you tell which character is which just by their dialogue?† Do they all sound the same?† Are they interesting?† Is there subtext?
  5. Trim, trim, trim.†
  6. Action lines/description.† Are they exciting?† Boring?† Do they have the tone of the script?†
  7. Put script away again.† Donít look at for a day, etc.

DRAFT 4 or POLISH DRAFT.

  1. Read it again, straight through.
  2. Rework all elements from draft 3.† Trim again.† Make tight.†
    1. Are all scenes are necessary, propelling the story forward?†
    2. Are your characters are alive and real?
  3. Look at punctuation. †Nothing turns off a professional reader easier than poor punctuation.†
  4. Have others read it but be careful who you give it to.† Give to a reader you trust and value their opinion.† Give to family or friend if you need to hear, ďI love it.Ē


THE FIRST 10 PAGES:
HOW TO MAKE OR BREAK YOUR SCREENPLAY
The importance of the first 10 pages.

APPEARANCE

  1. Good clean cover page
  2. Use good quality paper.
  3. Use good printer quality.
  4. Use conventional font.
  5. No extra papers.† Donít put in drawings, maps, illustrations. †Just the script.
  6. Donít fudge margins or font size.
  7. Script length should be 100 Ė 120.
  8. Make sure thereís more white space than black ink.† Nothing turns off a reader more than seeing the first couple of pages all description/action lines.† Make sure thereís some dialogue.†

MORE TIPS

  1. Use simple language Ė high school level.
  2. Donít direct.† Donít put in camera shots.
  3. Donít have boring character descriptions.
  4. Donít have boring action lines.
  5. New slug line for each location.
  6. Donít project charactersí thoughts.

CONTEXT

The Set-up

  1. Establish a time period.
  2. Convey a distinct mood or atmosphere.
  3. Establish primary environment.
  4. Introduce main character.
  5. Provide relevant backstory.
  6. Introduce antagonist.

The Inciting Incident. Ė The major event that propels the story forward.† Make it clear and exciting.

  • Start at the exact right moment.† Donít put in backstory or big descriptions upfront.† Find the right moment your story starts.
  • Know your ending before you complete your beginning.† Youíll probably adjust your first scene once you know your ending.


10 Things Readers Are†Looking For†COMING SOON...

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