The Art of the Self-Edit - 10 Things You Need to Check in ANY Script Before Sending it Off

Hosted by Nikki Terpilowski

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Nikki Terpilowski

Webinar hosted by: Nikki Terpilowski

Literary Agent at Holloway Literary

Nikki Terpilowski is here to help you master self-editing techniques. Nikki is a long time literary agent and owner of Holloway Literary who represents both screenwriters and novelists and is highly experienced at negotiating book-to-film deals for her clients, most recently Argent Pictures and ABC Studios. Her roster of authors have made Amazon, iTunes, Globe & Mail and USA Today bestsellers lists, have been nominated for Goodreads Choice, and RITA Awards and received starred Publishers Weekly reviews. She has also been invited to speak, teach classes and take pitches at ThrillerFest, Sisters In Crime, Romance Writers of America (RWA), Virginia's Festival Of The Book and many more literary events. Needless to say, Nikki is incredibly familiar with writers and their work and knows what it takes for a script to make it through the noise and get her attention. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

If you talk to an exec, a manger, or any other gatekeeper, you may be surprised to find out just how many scripts that are sent to them are turned down before they’re even given a chance. Whether it’s due to formatting errors, unclear descriptions, or other fixable problems, countless scripts fall by the wayside and countless writers lose an opportunity either because they were too eager to submit or because they weren’t able to look at their creation with objective eyes. The good news is this is a problem that can be fixed.

Before you send your script off to representatives, executives, or reputable contests, you need to ensure your screenplay is written clearly, formatted correctly, and tells a story that raises the stakes and builds momentum. Too often, writers go on blind faith and hit “send” before it sees a second set of eyes. But you can (and should) be your own second set of eyes with a practice known as self-editing. This is where you take your writer hat off, hang it up for a hot second, and put your editor cap on so you can revise your screenplay in an objective manner. It’s harder than it seems, but there are actually 10 specific things you can learn to read your script for that will help ensure it’s ready to be sent. If you can master the self-edit, you will greatly improve your chances of getting your work seen. Ready to learn how to do that?

Nikki Terpilowski is here to help you master self-editing techniques. Nikki is a long time literary agent and owner of Holloway Literary who represents both screenwriters and novelists and is highly experienced at negotiating book-to-film deals for her clients, most recently Argent Pictures and ABC Studios. Her roster of authors have made Amazon, iTunes, Globe & Mail and USA Today bestsellers lists, have been nominated for Goodreads Choice, and RITA Awards and received starred Publishers Weekly reviews. She has also been invited to speak, teach classes and take pitches at ThrillerFest, Sisters In Crime, Romance Writers of America (RWA), Virginia's Festival Of The Book and many more literary events. Needless to say, Nikki is incredibly familiar with writers and their work and knows what it takes for a script to make it through the noise and get her attention.

Drawing on her deep literary background, Nikki will teach you an effective way to self-edit your own script and the 10 aspects you need to focus on before sending it off. From more technical issues like script formatting and establishing action to narrative topics like scene structure and character arcs, Nikki will walk you through how to determine if each element in her self-edit checklist is effective. She’ll give you tools to determine where your script’s red flags might be and strategies to fix up each element.

 

With the strategies Nikki provides, you’ll be able to feel more confident in getting your script ready and sending it to reps, execs and contests

What You'll Learn

  • What is a Self-Edit and Why Is It Important?
  • Theme and Concept
    • Articulating your theme
    • Is your story original?
  • Formatting
    • Why formatting matters
    • Formatting issues reps and execs look for
    • Best software to use and is it okay to use something else?
  • Scene Structure
    • How do you know if your scene structure is problematic?
    • Fixing scene structural issues
  • Plotting
    • How to make sure you have a well plotted story
    • Ways to tell if your story makes sense to others
  • Stakes
    • How can you tell if your stakes are high enough?
    • Can your stakes be too high?
  • Character Development
    • Have you created three-dimension, complex characters?
    • Effective character arcs
  • Realistic Dialogue
    • How to tell if you have written natural dialogue
    • Correcting dialogue issues
  • Setting and World Building
    • Ways to determine if you’ve done enough world building and established setting
  • Action
    • Does your script have enough action? Does it have too much?
    • Paranthetical vs. action line
  • Pacing
    • Is your script’s pacing too fast, too slow or just right?
    • Strategies to fix pacing issues in your script
  • Final Thoughts and Tips
    • How do you know when you’ve done enough self-editing?
  • Q&A with Nikki

About Your Instructor

Nikki Terpilowski is here to help you master self-editing techniques. Nikki is a long time literary agent and owner of Holloway Literary who represents both screenwriters and novelists and is highly experienced at negotiating book-to-film deals for her clients, most recently Argent Pictures and ABC Studios. Her roster of authors have made Amazon, iTunes, Globe & Mail and USA Today bestsellers lists, have been nominated for Goodreads Choice, and RITA Awards and received starred Publishers Weekly reviews. She has also been invited to speak, teach classes and take pitches at ThrillerFest, Sisters In Crime, Romance Writers of America (RWA), Virginia's Festival Of The Book and many more literary events. Needless to say, Nikki is incredibly familiar with writers and their work and knows what it takes for a script to make it through the noise and get her attention.

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