Sunday, July 18, 2010

TOP 10 CHECKLIST: Before You Submit...

I wrote this checklist awhile ago, but don't remember posting it here.

(And if I did, world, you're not listening.  So read this list again.)

1.  The script should be stripped to bare bones. No unessential plots, characters, or scenes.

If not, I will put down your script.

2.  Electricity should shoot through your script easily. If there are wandering or confusing scenes, electricity will stop.

And I will put down your script.

3.  Have you addressed all the things I will look for:  Premise, Character, Conflict, Structure, Dialogue?

4.  Have you properly introduced: a) the rules to your world (ESPECIALLY in Sci-fi and Horror), and b) the characters in the 1st ten pages?  Don't make me guess.

5.  All chase, fight, & love scenes must develop character & push the story forward.

A gratuitous love scene can kill the mood.  An emotionally laden one will get you a Twilight-like following.

6.  All subplots should mirror, or support the main plot.  This is NOT the minor character's story.

7. Tension-release (also known as hope-fear) is crucial.  Not tension-tension-tension.

8. Does your script read vertically?  If not, read this.

9.  Typos, grammar errors, & exceeding the proper page limit, begone.
The standard is still 120 pgs for drama, & around 90-110 for comedies.  Err on the side that less is more.

10. Cover page should be title, name, address (yours or your agent’s), email, phone.  No need for WGA # or copyright.  We assume you’ve registered with WGA &/or Library of Congress.

WHAT I'VE KNOW:  Keep me reading = I boogie-woogie. 

Slow me down = I slush. 

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