Screenwriting : The rewrite. How many times is enough? by Anthony Moore

Anthony Moore

The rewrite. How many times is enough?

I just finished the 5th rewrite of my feature length sci-fi/drama "POTUS". Version 4 won honorable mentions last year but I knew it could be better. This version is so much better, I think it may be the final, final copy. How many times you think you should rewrite the same piece before burying it in cement or setting it aflame?

Jonathan Warman

Until your gut tells you it's right. And even then...Tennessee Williams kept rewriting STREETCAR (and a lot of his other plays) til he died, long after it's success.

Kerry Douglas Dye

Yeah, there's no way to know. You get it to where you can't improve it and you're happy with it, then you put it into the world. If you haven't sold the thing in 6 months or a year, read it again, and if you can now improve it further, then start the process again.

William Martell

What Michaelangelo said. I just had a script requested and did a rewrite on it before I sent it.

Pierre Langenegger

I recently had a short produced. It was draft 12. It's over when everyone is happy with it.

Heike Henke

Wonderful suggestion, Leslie... Hope next time you'll get the recognition, too.

Eric Gilmartin

Anthony, _in general_ I'd say 2-3 drafts are the minimum one can expect to have to crank out on a script, but depending upon various factors, subject matter, working alone versus in collaboration, etc., some scripts may need more drafts, others fewer. Get a good, trusted beta reader to be your "First theater-goer" -- more than one, if you can. Keep slugging away on your story, and good luck with it!

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