by Marla White
It's always been hard for anyone who doesn't have an agent or manager to get their scripts read. Sometimes even with an agent it's tough! So give yourself the best shot possible by avoiding these three writing crutches. They don't make your script better, I promise! All they do is give even an assistant a good excuse to put the fruits of your hard labor on the stack of scripts to be read by somebody else at some unspecified time in the future known as "The Slush Pile." â
âStop with the dot-dot-dots!
Use the ellipsis - the official name for "..." sparingly. As with any writing tool there's a time and a place for it, but less is plenty. I've seen pages full of them as the writer tries to convey tension or suspense in dialog. Let the actors act and the directors direct - that's not your job! Limit yourself to no more than one per page.
These clunky directions, especially if overused, pull a reader out of a script rather than pulling them in. If it is imperative that there's an XCU of a daisy for your story, go for it. But if that's just how you see the scene in your head, wait until later to make that point.
Go through your script and carefully look at every "was ______ing" or "is ________ing" to see if there isn't a better way to write it. â
What writing quirks drive you crazy? Let me know so we can help writers avoid them!