Writers Software SuperCenter
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12/04/2005 - DESIGNER GENES
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When I was in high school, a lot of summer afternoons were spent by the pool reading Gothic romances and multi-generational sagas about plucky governesses overcoming adversity and going to live in well appointed manor houses. The author of one such series was a former interior designer whose knowledge of fabrics, accessories, fixtures and furnishings manifested in chapters dominated by lengthy descriptions of who wore what, the type of chair he or she sat in, and whether the plates upon which dinner was served were Lenox, Royal Daulton or Wedgwood. Reading so many details at a time, of course, usually forced me to go back and refresh my memory on who, exactly, I'd been reading about. Try this in a screenplay and it's a sure bet a reader's attention span won't make it past page 2.
Unlike a novel, a lot of details in a screenplay are expendable, especially if they don't advance our understanding of the players, their motivations, or the plot itself. Does it really matter, for instance, that your heroine is wearing a blue plaid dress instead of a green striped one? Is it crucial your hero possess a pair of Nikes instead of Adidas? Will someone driving a 1990 Geo Tracker solve the mystery faster than if it were a 1991 Geo Storm? Does the entry to the villain's house have to be flanked by Doric columns or could Corinthian suffice? Does the banker have to 47, Latvian and balding?
The more generic your descriptions, the faster and more easily your script can be read. Insider secret: the more easily a script can be read, the greater the chances of it advancing up the decision-making ladder. Still can't let go of all those details? You can always try your hand at a novel or short story and use them there.

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Get your script read and evaluated by the same folks who read for the agencies and studios. Discover what's right and wrong with your script and how to improve it.

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