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Screenplay Dos And Don'ts - What Hollywood Script Agents Advise

By Expert Author: Matthew Scott

When preparing to write or rewrite a screenplay, there are two key elements to keep in mind. What Hollywood Script Agents advise is that you pay special attention to detail. And that detail is the thread that will either pull your screenplay together, or rip it apart.
As a screenwriter, what you want as the end result is a polished, well written, cohesive story. That has all of its threads woven together neatly. The last thing, you want are missing pieces or things that do not belong in your screenplay. Knowing what to keep in and what to take out are the two crucial elements that every screenplay encounters.
What Hollywood script agents advise is that you simply learn to edit your screenplay before submitting it to Hollywood. The easiest way to achieve this is by knowing what to keep in and what to take out.
Here is a simple guide for you to keep in mind before finalizing your screenplay:
What to keep in:
Descriptions and visual elements that pertain to the story itself.
If it enhances and enriches your story, then put it in.
Whatever elements you need to move the plot along from scene to scene.
Dialog that has substance. Words that you have carefully chosen as your dialog for each of your characters should have meaning to them. A reason why your character is saying them.
Characters that have a purpose and a reason for being in your story.
An element of surprise is always a plus in any screenplay. What is an added pleasure to your audience is the element of surprise has been there the entire time. Only it was not noticed until the end. A clever screenwriter will give just a hint of what the surprise will be at certain intervals throughout the story. Revealing the surprise at the last possible moment. Mysteries are great for this.
What to take out:
Descriptions and visual elements that have nothing to do with your screenplay. Do not throw something in, just for the sake of having it. It will not add to your story, but only take away from what you are trying to convey. Your message and theme should be clear to your audience, not confuse them.
If it adds confusion to your story and is neither here nor there, take it out.
Characters that have no reason or purpose. If you have a character that adds nothing to your plot and story, then take them out. There is no need for them, so why have them.
Dialog that is nonsense. Do not have your characters say things that have no meaning to them. Your words that you choose for your characters should have value to them. Keep in mind that your characters are moving the plot along. So your dialog should be carefully worded to help your characters achieve this goal.
Hollywood Script Agents advise that it will add substance and power to your story if you follow these few simple guidelines.

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