July 21, 2012
The day after I finished the first draft of my new screenplay, I immediately stuffed Denny Martin Flinn’s How NOT To Write A Screenplay in my bag. For the next few days, I flipped through it on the subway to and from work. It’s probably the 5th or 6th time I’ve read it now…
Check out the book here: How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make
Yes… I do realize the irony that exists having to constantly read a book subtitled: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make.
Haven’t I learned anything?
There are a lot of mistakes I’ve made years ago that are burned deep into my creative core. The biggest improvements I’ve made are in areas like clarity and structure. This book contains so many great tips that you may already know but it’s nice to be reminded in case you didn’t.
The truth is, it’s a fantastic check list to have nearby when you’re rewriting your script.
THE REWRITE ROUTINE
As I read the book, I was making notes on my iPhone. The following morning, I would wake up and implement the changes then continue making my screenplay better. It’s important to note, most of the rewrites the book inspired were based on structure and my overall writing skills. The language, the details and everything in between.
But I’ve got story rewrites as well. Characters need better development and I’ve got at least one plot hole that needs plugging. There is a lot of work to be done but I’m not going to get caught on there/their type errors and 100 other common mistakes I may have missed along the way.
“I didn’t write this because I can write screenplays. I wrote this because I have read tons of them” Writes Flinn
More than likely, he’ll never read any of my screenplays. If that day ever came, he may not like the story. But I like to think he would be proud that his book helped eliminate the mistakes that would surely make him cringe.