Developing Creative Discipline – part 12

September 10, 2020
Bob Eckhard


…it seems like the ideas for the ‘Developing Creative Discipline’ strand just keep coming. This week, we consider what to do after the script is written – and let me be clear here,  I am not talking about sending it out to agents, producers and competitions (though that should happen a little further down the line).

No. What I am talking about is taking that fine tooth comb and ‘editing’ your magnum opus to within a millimetre of its literary life. Strangely, it is in this last phase  that a lot of writers fall down. Possibly, the effort of completing the umpteenth draft of a script  makes the writer rather jaded when faced with the daunting prospect of then going back through it all with a fine tooth comb to edit. And yes, it can be a struggle. I know this from my own initial reticence to engage fully with the process. However, these days – having gone to the effort to come up with an idea, plan, plot, write and do multiple rewrites – I am determined to make sure that I take as much time as necessary to make sure I have not left any typos and grammatical errors (etc) in my script which may suggest I am less than professional in my writing and approach. So what to do?

Well, currently, I have amassed  a number of resources from across the Internet which fill my ‘After it’s done’ file – if you don’t know what that is, you can check out that post by clicking here.

Okay, here is a resource that will get you started:

My advice is to use the ‘find’ function ( CTRL ‘F’ ) on your script and type in each modifier/word suggested. For example, the word: ‘really’ to see if you are using words that would be better deleted or replaced with another.  Making your way through the script, find each occurrence of ‘really ‘and rethink, rephrase  or delete that word altogether.

The link above gives you all the ones on Diana Urban’s site but start today to be on the lookout for others – build a word bank of terms and semantics that will assist you when editing your script.

Lastly,  to any of you who think finding redundant words and modifiers in a script and removing them is unnecessary because your story is brilliant and that’s what counts, remember that those writers who do scour scripts and remove unnecessary words will always be a few steps ahead of you in terms of their presentation, readability and professionalism. No reader wants to come across the word ‘really’ twenty times in as many pages, if at all. Why? Because, there is always a better way to phrase a sentence in order that the word ‘really’ becomes redundant. Which in turn will show to the reader, the wide vocabulary/lexicon of the writer. Yes! Really! (intended)

And if you find any links to words to avoid, please do send them to me as none of us ever stop learning or developing.

Til next time…get editing


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