When it comes to writing, plenty of people can do it – but it takes a lot of skill to do it effectively. Good writers know that the message is about much more than the specific words on the page; it’s about the presentation, the subtext, the dramatic pauses, the connotations….in short, there are many factors that contribute to excellent writing, and it takes a lot of practice to learn them all.
But that’s no reason to avoid working on your masterpiece! Even if you don’t think your skills are up to the level you want, you will get better simply by writing constantly. And in the meantime, you can get some outside help on your screenplay to make sure it meets quality standards.
There are two separate, but related, fields of screenplay editing. The first is the story – these editors will look for things like flow, continuity, dry dialogue, awkward scenes, and other traps that can sink a script before it ever reaches a producer’s desk. Having a compelling and well-told story, with fleshed-out characters and relatable motivations, is a crucial part of a successful script.
The second part of editing is the more technical and specialized grammar and formatting. Screenplays are not like novels – they have industry-specified formats, with consistent margins, spacing, fonts, conventions, and styles, and straying too far from these norms will, more often than not, end up with your script in the trash. This is why software like WriterDuet is perfect – it takes care of all the formatting automatically, and it is innovative and easy to use. Not to be overlooked, having proper grammar, spelling, and overall readability is important too: if a reader struggles to make it through a badly-spelled opening paragraph, they’re not going to go any farther than that!
If you want some help polishing up your screenplay before submitting it, we recommend the following people for full read-throughs and detailed notes:
We look forward to reading all of your stories in the coming months!