(…or, the art of rewriting)

You may have 110 beautifully typed pages sat in front of you. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.

Because what you’re going to have just written is going to be… well… Just awful.

You’re going to be excited, ready to hit the export to pdf button and send it off so that you can claim your $1,000,000 fee for being the best damn writer in the whole god-damn world. Don’t do that. Wait a few days. Then re-read it. Then cry a little. Then accept that it is rewriting time…

yep, I said rewriting

But don’t worry, because rewriting is exactly how it sounds, going over what you’ve already done. And, you can use the steps of your process to give you a tick-list of things to check and improve.

Imaging that each step below is a separate “pass” of your screenplay, during which you focus on trying to improve the areas below…

  • Idea
  • Premise
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Scenes
  • Dialogue

Concentrate on one thing specifically on each pass, and don’t let yourself get distracted. I like to read with a notebook to one side and make a list of to-dos for things I can’t fix immediately or that will need a bit more thought.

And don’t get disheartened. When you have some ink on the page, writing gets so much easier!

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I'm James, a screenwriter working in the film and TV industry. To get in touch, see my e-mail contact page.

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