1. You have not written something you care
2. Your idea isn’t vibrating with originality!
3. You picked the wrong genre!
4. Your story is only interesting to you!
7. You picked the wrong main character!
8. You haven’t constructed your main
10. You haven’t made “place” a character in
11. We have no rooting interest in your hero!
12. Your opponent is not a human being!
13. Your Bad Guy isn’t great!
14. The opponent is not the hero’s agent of
16. You don’t give your bad guy a Bad Guy
18. Your minor characters don’t have
20. You don’t have enough tension!
21. You have no time pressure!
22. You don’t give the reader enough emotion!
23. You bungled your story structure!
25. You have not done a “random thoughts”
26. You have not used the Kerith Harding
Rule of Drama!
27. Your B story does not affect your A story!
28. You don’t use Set Up and Pay Off to your
29. You haven’t buried exposition like Jimmy
30. You don’t withhold surprises until as late
31. You haven’t pounded each scene enough!
32. Your scenes don’t turn the action!
33. You don’t have enough reversals!
38. Your characters talk on the phone too
40. You don’t keep a log of overheard dialogue!
41. You haven’t separated the character’s
42. You haven’t worked your dialogue hard
46. You did too much research!
47. You didn’t do enough research!
48. You aren’t educated in your chosen
49. You’re using the wrong writing
50. Your prose is not CRYSTAL CLEAR!
51. You don’t understand screenplay format!
52. You have naked sluglines or no sluglines
53. You over-direct your actors!
54. You use parentheticals wrong!
55. You change character names on us!
56. Too many of your characters have names!
59. You use novelistic language!
60. You poisoned your scene description with
61. You haven’t cut as many “thes” and
“thats” as possible!
63. You describe dialogue in scene description!
66. Don’t repeat! Anything! Ever!
67. You rewrite while you write!
68. You do a rewrite by reading the whole
script at once!
69. You don’t have a killer first page!
71. You haven’t ripped out the first 20 pages!
72. You haven’t cut every bit of extraneous
73. You think your first (or ninth) draft is
75. You use numbers instead of words!
76. You call shots!
77. You call specific songs!
78. You didn’t run your spellcheck, you moron!
79. You trust your spellcheck! Ah haa ha haaa
80. You think longer is better!
81. You didn’t read your script out loud!
82. You used a crummy printer!
83. You want to be famous more than you
want to write!
84. You think your script is special and rules
85. You put the wrong stuff on your title page!
86. You haven’t done a table read!
88. You haven’t the first clue how the business