The Rewriting Process – Wordsmithing

Here is the final post from Hal Croasmun’s Proseries classes on rewriting.

Wordsmithing is really the final polish before your script is shopped around town.

Basic wordsmithing = grammar, spelling, formatting, word choice, etc. Less is definitely more. Overworked readers SKIM through your script rather than READ it. Bear this in mind. And they skim through the dialogue and largely ignore the action.

Be aware of the page count (90-110) and remove the black (huge chunks of text on the page) Help the reader “get it in a glance”, especially the action which is often skipped during a read. Replace lengthy tedious descriptions with a few well chosen words. Think of it as haiku.

Create memorable lines that can permeate popular culture such as “show me the money” but also pack an emotional wallop.

Think of different ways for common expressions such as “walk”. In “The Hangover”, a character “blew” in. Bring your scene to life. Make it sparkle with non-generic words like leap, stomp, charge, hop, tip toe, dance and crawl.

Rethink the description of when each main character appears. It’s the bait that will attract an A list actor.

Spend time on the opening and closing sentences which reveal something about you as a professional writer. Closing sentences will also add to the buzz because the reader will be dying to tell their boss about it.



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