Readers live for reading good scripts. Honestly, there are so many bad scripts that are tough to get through, that when we read a good one – we just get overjoyed. So I made a list of the top ten things readers really LOVE to see in a script:
These are somewhat obvious, no-brainers and yet you’d be surprised how difficult these are to achieve:
A script the reader has literally never read before. A page turner.
Playfulness on the page, a uniqueness in the way that you write.
Fresh, complex characters
Characters that delight and surprise us. Characters that are not “types”.
Tight structure/page count
A script that comes in under 110 pages. Plot points that land exactly as they should, perfectly. A constant ramping up of the story.
Pithy, effective action lines
Action lines that are actually easy and fun to read. Action lines that are kinetic and bounce the reader right down the page until they can’t wait to turn it. Only pertinent, entertaining details.
A compelling narrative; pages that flow
A story that is so engaging that the world fades away. A story that never has a hitch or a dull moment.
Organic conflict, building tension
Conflict that is inevitable yet surprising. Tension that makes the reader skip lunch, skip the phone call and get lost in your world entirely.
Resonant, universal theme
Something the reader can relate to – even if he or she has never gone through that particular circumstances. Themes that are about life and how to live it. About redemption, courage, passion, and the dark side.
A provocative beginning
A first couple of pages that just BEG the reader to keep going. Something that piques interest immediately.
An emotionally satisfying ending
An ending that pays off everything the writer set up, with no loose ends. A climax that made the reader wonder – REALLY wonder – how on EARTH it will all work out.
All sounds pretty simple, right? To learn more about each of these categories, simply click on the categories that appear on the right hand side of this page and you can read and find out about tips, do’s and don’ts for hours. Consider this research time. It’s well worth it.
Treat yourself to Just Effing Entertain Me: A Screenwriter’s Atlas