Screenwriting : A Script Readers Checklist by DL Stickler

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DL Stickler

A Script Readers Checklist

As I continue to rework my writing, I am striving to create work that is worthy of the time anyone may take to read it. I found this courtesy of the Do you consider any of these checkpoints when writing?

A Script Reader's Checklist - ScreenCraft
A Script Reader's Checklist - ScreenCraft
Readers are the much maligned gatekeepers to studios and production companies, filtering screenplays and writing the cursory coverage that will seal the fate of the script in the eyes of the developmeā€¦
Jim Boston

DL, I emphasize 13 of the 60 questions found in ScreenCraft's "A Script Reader's Checklist:" Original concept, goal(s), stakes, protagonist obstacles, unpredictability, believability, proper format, proper spelling/punctuation, character wants/needs, and the need to make each character different.

I'm also concerned with the need to put visuals first, sounds second, and dialog third; bringing action and humor out of the characters; whether or not all scenes in a script are needed.

I worry a lot about plot...and that's where the need to be believable and unpredictable comes in.

Thanks for posting, DL!

Craig D Griffiths

Some of this stuff is super obvious. But there are a few things that are fun to consider, does it pose a question, for instance.

Rosalind Winton

I have just finished writing my screenplay and I have sent it in for industry feedback, by reading these points, I've learned a screenplay shouldn't be less than 110 pages long. My screenplay is 99 pages long, so I'm 11 pages short, yikes...

Kay Luke

A screenplay shouldn't be less than 110 pages?

That's baloney. Depending how visual it is, a spec could be a few as 80.

Those list may apply to contest readers, but that's it. I've been a Reader, my kid's been a Reader, there were no check lists involved.

This is first year film student stuff for non-writers.

Dan MaxXx

to be fair, Terry Rossio's Death to Readers article is over 20-years old. He is not bullshitting screenwriters. The guy writes franchise movies we all have seen.

Rosalind Winton

Kay, thanks for that, I feel better now :)

Craig D Griffiths

I sold a feature that was nearly entirely dialogue at just over 60pgaes. it was a dense block of text. When it is finished it will be 90 to 100 mins. depending on the director and pacing.

DL Stickler

Kay Luke That may well be. Of course , if one has never attended film school then it may be completely new to them as it was to me. I really posted this not to tell people how to create; but to help myself and others discover how to best create for ourselves and keep an eye towards the day when one or any of us option a script or find someone who wants to buy or hire us.

DL Stickler

Rosalind Winton As some other people here on this thread pointed out; and as I have seen many other working screenwriters point out as well; there are no hard and fast rules to selling a script. But, if reading this article helps you to find your voice and your character's voices; I am glad to share it.

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