Screenwriting : What next? by Akilah Tucker

Akilah Tucker

What next?

So, I just completed my script and I'm extremely new at this. It's a feature film script and I do plan on editing it, go over it and add or cut things that would make the story more gripping, but after that, I'm not sure on what to do. Any tips or helpful advice?

Dash Riprock

Hi Akilah. I would get as many eyes on it as possible. Readers with experience. I've seen script trades here at Stage 32 where one writer gets comments on his/her script from another writer (who has their script commented on by you). Sometimes this is helpful, but sometimes not.

There are also professional readers out there that can help. Make sure you do your due diligence when considering them, and get price quotes too.

Hope this helps.

Akilah Tucker

Thank you, I'm definitely taking this into consideration!

Dan MaxXx

Put it away for a couple of weeks, do something else w/ your time, then re-read script and rewrite/punch up.

Debbie Croysdale

There is TONS of free screenwriting advice from Guru’s of the trade. Personally I would tweak the script before getting it out there. Scott Myers, Linda Aronson and Jurgen Wolffe have websites with NO joining fee. Iv’e personally had lessons and one to ones from these writers and they even answer emails. Also google John Truby the only guru I not yet had personal lesson with. Once you gone over script at no cost, get it out there. You can submit it to screenwriters festivals or go ScriptRevolution website. I do not disagree with professional reader, but one man’s meat is another man’s poison. I once hired two readers for same script, both different results. You do not have to go bank for an experienced artist to either Pass or Fail an idea. Good Luck.

Jason Mirch

Hey Akilah! Congrats on finishing the script. It's no easy feat. I suggest you have an industry pro read your script and give you coverage. Email the Stage 32 team at writerhelp@stage32.com - tell them about your project and genre and they can connect you with an industry executive you specializes in what you're writing. Also check out the Script Services page. There are ton of resources there.

Bill Costantini

Awesome for you to have finished a script. Mucho congrats!

My rewriting steps go like this:

First thing I do is fix the homophones that my software and my eyes didn't catch. Then I strengthen the verbs. Then I make sure the intended conflicts of each scene are as strong as possible. Then I make sure the dialogues are as strong as possible. Then I make sure the narration is as strong as possible. Then I make sure the ironies are as strong as possible. Then I make sure the emotional truths are as strong as possible. Then I make sure the unity of action is as strong as possible. Then I make sure the subtext is as strong as possible. Then I make sure the tone and voice are as strong as possible. Then I make sure the verisimilitude is as strong as possible. Then I make sure the pacing is as strong as possible. Then I make sure the whole thing is visual enough, and that I'm getting the best user engagement that I can. Then I go, line for line, to make sure each word and line is really necessary.

I have to do each one of the steps individually, starting with the easiest and going to the hardest (for me), because that's what works best for me. The first few, as you can see, are more word-related, and the last few are more story-related. Each step takes a while, and without rushing, of course.

Peer review sounds nice and all, but I wouldn't rely on fellow aspiring script sellers who aren't experts in constructive criticism/story development, or who don't do it for a living or don't have track records in the industry, to critique my stories. I prefer vetted pro's who are solid long-time experts at what they do. But to each their own, right?

Best fortunes in your creative endeavors, Akilah!

Mathew Thomas

Hi Akilah,

Thank you for posting as I am in a very similar position and the comments are extremely helpful.

All the best with your screenplay :)

Alessandro Machi

Print out your script. let it sit a day or two, then read it and if you find things you want fixed, fix them, write the corrections right on the paper,, then fix on your actual file. Then when ready, print your script out again. The paper step is essential in my opinion to actually signing off on your script as being finished. The pain and cost of ink and paper caused by reprinting over and over is a lesson that it is easier and probably not in one's best interest, to send out something that is not optimized..

Jody Ellis

Do a couple rounds of revisions and then solicit trusted readers to review it. I would NOT recommend getting “as many eyes as possible” on it. Advice from other novice screenwriters (or your mom or best friend) isn’t usually helpful because they do not have the experience or knowledge to really see where the script needs improvement. Seek out someone who is either a professional writer, or maybe look at submitting to a couple contests that offer feedback. You can also look at paying for feedback from a script consultant, although I know that’s not always an option financially.

Jurgen Wolff

One tip: do your assessment of your script in a different location from where you composed it (it can be just a different chair in the same room). At your computer, you'll be in a creative mindset which will incline you to want to correct things as you spot them. If you move, you can get into a critical mindset, identify all the things you want to change and the order in which to change them (usually the big stuff first, little dialogue adjustments last), and then return to your creative space and make the changes.

Dan Guardino

The first thing I suggest doing is get someone with more experience writing screenplays read your script to see what you are doing wrong. I am not saying you are but almost all new screenwriters make the same mistakes and they don't know the mistakes they are making.

Artisan James

Dan MaxXx it's weird how that works ain't it... and when you go back to it after a while... sometimes as long as a month for myself... things start to make even more sense...

Mike Heff

Hey Akilah, I just finished my first screenplay too. If you want to do a script trad I'd loe some feedback too!

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