Thursday, December 17, 2009

TODAY'S NUGGET: One Pages

When you're writing a one page summary ("one pager") for your script, I'd like you to remember me, i.e., the receiving end of that document.

I hate amateur one pages because they're filled with facts. Snore.

I do not want facts. I want story. Story story story!

What's the difference? Glad you asked.

If you want facts, check out the label of a soup can. Wow - that's a lot of salt. Didn't know that had phenylalanine (which isn't harmful unless you have PKU. Look it up.)

If you want story, check out the teaser on the back of a paperback novel. See how they lure you in with the promise of a good tale? See how they give you the gist, but not an encyclopedia? See how it MOVES you to WANT to read it? It sucks you in with emotion.

Your one page should look like that teaser. It should MOVE ME TO READ YOUR SCRIPT.

Your one pager is a SELLING DOCUMENT.

NO ENCYCLOPEDIA. SHORT. BAIT THE HOOK. SELL ME ON YOUR STORY!

AM I SHOUTING?! Why, yes I am.

WHY? Because I think newbie writers consider them a nuisance, an afterthought. They may not put as much time into them, thinking, "They'll read my script and see what I can really do. After all, it's the script that matters, right?"

Would you eat cake with garbage frosting? I wouldn't.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: During the sorting process, the one page can put you in Pile 1 (exec's desk) or Pile 2 (slush).

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