What To Do After Finishing a Draft of Your Script

Scriptcat, the author of screenwriting website My Blank Page, shared an article about what to do after finishing the first draft of a new script. He writes,

I’ve been asked this question many times from aspiring screenwriters and I always have an answer — print a copy of your script, put it away and go out and celebrate your victory.  You are farther along on the journey than most writers because you’ve actually completed a screenplay

When you finish the work, as productive screenwriters, we always need to celebrate our accomplishments with regards to work actually produced with words on a page.  Under no circumstances do you give your first draft to anyone for a read—even if they beg you— and certainly not to any producer or Hollywood industry type.  You and the material are too fragile and you need to digest what you’ve written without any outside criticism.  After a week, take the script out from the drawer and go read it alone somewhere using my “20 Steps to use after you type FADE OUT—THE END.“  I prefer my local coffee-house with a nice large cup of java.  Read it through once just to see if the entire script flows.  You will find that it’s different from you might have remembered while you were actually writing it.  Time away from a script allows you to redefine the story in your head and upon your first read, you will immediately notice things that work or do not work.

Next, take a pen and read through again making your notes.  I always find a million small changes to the wording of a scene and the dialogue.  Once you’re done, go back to your computer and make the chances into your second draft.  Now, if you feel confident about it, take this draft and give it to those people you trust to give a read.  I am lucky to have a small circle of fellow writers whom I trust and we always send our latest scripts back and forth to each other for notes.  I trust them to give me constructive criticism that will help in my next draft.  We’re lucky to share a special esprit de corps in our ranks, each member rooting for the other and striving to make each other better writers.

Read more at My Blank Page.

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