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5 Screenwriting Mistakes to Avoid

Screenwriting

It is a great gift to be a great writer. But even if you are a talented and gifted writer, you are prone to err. Writers need their comfort zone, solitude, and concentration to produce a piece of art. But when it comes to proofreading your own thing, it becomes tricky. If you are aspiring to be a screenwriter, one of the most helpful practices is reading loads of unproduced screenplays. This will help polish your writing skills. Your writing will be more refined and inspired.

Coming back to the erring, if you want to be evaluated as an impressive screenwriter with an impact, you need to rectify some of the common mistakes in your writing.

While I was going through a review regarding the experiences of script readers using my Spectrum TV packages, I figured out how difficult their job really is. Tons of scripts are piled on their desks and they have to go through each one of them. Do them a favor and make their job a little less hard and a little more fun by avoiding the following mistakes. Make your script grip them and take them to a different place. Make them take notice!

5 Common Screenwriting Errors to Rectify

Painful Details and Androgynous Names of the Characters 

Most writers think that physical descriptions, such as race, outfits, height, and other such details are very important.  In reality, these details don’t matter much and can be left to costume designers and casting experts. Only waste time on these details if it’s vital to your script to have blue eyes of the protagonist. Or, a French accent. Being the creator of the characters, focus on describing their personalities, the reasons for their actions, their desires, and so on. Focus on the soul of your characters. 

Another issue is using androgynous names. Don’t name a girl Sam, Devin, or Kyle. Don’t name a guy Jamie, Casey, or Taylor. Yes, the names are beautiful but they can get confusing when written in a script. You don’t want the reader to miss the gender of your main character. Also, avoid naming all the characters with similar-looking and sounding names. Such as Sarah, Sam, Steve, Simon, and so on. For someone who is reading it for the first time, the same names can be really confusing. 

Wrong Sequence and Improper Length

Make sure you describe your scenes with clarity. Pay attention to the start and end of your scenes. Don’t make it seem too similar to real-life conversations. You may have a notion that it will appear more relatable but on paper, it actually gets very dull. Try and enter your scenes mid-action or mid-conflict. Make sure you have neatly wrapped up the scene while you exit it. This will push the reader to figure out what happens next. 

Be mindful when it comes to the length of your script. If you are writing the script of a feature film that’s 120 minutes long at max, don’t make the script 40 pages long. Keep the length of your script justified. 

Unclear Action

Recognize where your script reaches its climax, where things come full circle, or where a protagonist experiences a vital epiphany. Chorography is significant to a good script. Make the action-dense sections clear and comprehensible. Your words and expressions should be able to convey the right intensity, sequence, and significance of a particular action. 

If the reader is confused by the description of the action, chances are he or she will leave your script midway. 

Typo Errors and Formatting Issues

We can’t emphasize the need for proofreading enough. Especially if you are an aspiring and undiscovered talent. A few typos in an otherwise incredible story can be ignored. But you will leave a bad impression if the typos are right in the first lines or the first pages. Make sure you are a perfectionist for your initial script and work like a professional. Consider using a proofreading tool if you are not as adept at seeing the difference between you’re and your

Keep the formatting issues at bay. The wrong use of punctuation such as an exclamation mark or colon can lead to misunderstanding the script. 

Cliched Dialogues and Scenes

Do you know what the worst thing that a writer can do to his readers is? To give them exactly what they were expecting. We have all watched and given poor reviews to movies with clichéd and predictable dialogues and situations. Don’t forget that the element of surprise should always be there. There should always be something unanticipated and novel. If you going to use the same old lines and situations which we have already seen a zillion times before, no one is going to be hooked.   In addition to these tips, take inspiration from movies and sitcoms on channels like CW on Spectrum. Watch other quality movie channels and notice the scenes and dialogues. Being inspired is being improved.

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