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Sample Your Screenplay Sucks

Sample Your Screenplay Sucks

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Published by: Michael Wiese Productions on Nov 19, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/18/2013

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i
T
ABLE
 
OF
C
ONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
ACT I: STORYTELLING
Introduction
IDEA
You have not written something you care about!Your story is only interesting to you!Your story is about miserable people who are miserablethe whole time and end miserably! Or worse!!You haven’t spent enough time thinking up a fantastictitle!You picked the wrong genre!
CHARACTER 
 You haven’t constructed your main character correctly!You are not specific about EVERYTHING when youcreate a character!You haven’t made “place” a character in your story!We have no rooting interest in your hero!Your opponent is not a human being!Your Bad Guy isn’t great!The opponent is not the hero’s agent of change!The Bad Guy doesn’t feel he’s the hero of his own movie!You don’t give your bad guy a Bad Guy Speech!Your characters do stupid things to move the storyforward, a.k.a., they do stuff because you make them! Your minor characters don’t have
character 
!
STRUCTURE
You worried about structure when you came up with yourstory!
 
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 YOUR SCREENPLAY SUCKS
n n n
WILLIAM AKERS
You don’t have enough tension!You don’t give the reader enough emotion!You bungled your story structure!You have not done, and then redone, and REDONE, aone line outline!You have not done a “random thoughts” outline!You have not used the Kerith Harding Rule of Drama!Your B story does not affect your A story!You have coincidences after page 20!You don’t use Set Up & Pay Off to your advantage!You don’t withhold surprises until as late as possible!
SCENES
You haven’t pounded each scene enough!Your scenes don’t turn the action!You have not shouted at each scene, “How can I jack upthe conflict?!”You haven’t cut the first or last lines from as many scenesas possible!You haven’t buried exposition like Jimmy Hoffa!Your character does research when she could be talking tosomebody!Your characters talk on the phone too much!You have characters speaking text but not subtext!You have not made every scene memorable!
DIALOGUE
You haven’t separated the character’s voices!You don’t keep a log of overheard dialogue!You didn’t A-B the dialogue!You have too much “naturalistic” dialogue!You did too much research!You didn’t do enough research!
 
iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACT II: PHYSICAL WRITING
Introduction
WELCOME TO WRITING
You aren’t educated in the medium you have chosen toexpress yourself!You’re using the wrong writing instrument!Your prose is not CRYSTAL CLEAR!
FORMAT
You don’t understand screenplay format!You have naked sluglines or no sluglines at all!You use parentheticals wrong!
CHARACTERS
You change character names on us!Too many of your characters have names!Character names begin with the same letter! Or WORSE,they RHYME!!You do not describe main characters with a concise,telling, two (or so) sentence character description!You over direct your actors!
SCENE DESCRIPTION
You use novelistic language!You poisoned your scene description with “to be!”You haven’t cut as many “thes” and “thats” as possible!You don’t put the most important word at the end of thesentence!You have not cut scene description for speed, clarity, andpower!You describe dialogue in scene description!You have not paid attention to image order in your scenedescription!You haven’t cut scene description to the bone!
REWRITING
Don’t repeat! Anything!! Ever!!!

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