WRITING: Small Tidbits

A few tidbits of writing advice for the middle of your week…

  • At least 80% of problems for a script lie within the outline. Don’t wait until your first script draft to show your work to someone. Your outline must be airtight. Then, you’ll only have many problems, as opposed to an unbelievable clusterfuck of them.
  • Manage your exposition. In a pilot, there’s a lot. In a pilot that has any kind of otherworldian nature, such as supernatural or sci-fi, you will be buried under the exposition you need. And that’s exposition that needs to be laid out cohesively, clearly, in an engaging manner that is natural to the story. Don’t freak out: you can do this.
  • Keep track of a character’s backstory and filter all of their dialogue through it. If their backstory changes, don’t port scenes verbatim from the old script without reviewing it in light of the changes.
  • Don’t make a character seem dumb just because you want someone else to deliver some exposition. Figure out why they don’t know what they don’t know.
  • If you make edits to your timeline: check your timeline consistency, check it again, then check it again. People will notice if your script takes place over a six hour period that lasts three days.

Yes, I just got notes back on a pilot.

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