The more scripts I read the more patterns I see. Reading copies of scripts that have produced reveal different patterns than reading a stack of hopefuls, unvetted besides an entry fee and a rough page count.
A major difference, one that I didn’t notice to start with but now that I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it, is confidence. More than half of the scripts I’ve read for for this contest have been written by someone who lacks confidence.
- He doesn’t think I’ll understand how the lines are to be said by the context.
- Puts wrylies under half of the dialogue.
- She doesn’t trust that her words can convey the tone and emotion of her idea,
- Adds italics and bolds and caps and underlines all the way through until her script looks like an old Batman comic.
- He feels like I’m not smart enough to understand what he’s talking about.
- Puts dictionary definitions and notes in the middle of the page to explain terms, ideas, and even how to pronounce words.
- She isn’t confident in her role as the creator of this world.
- Adds notes like “they can ad-lib here” or “we can change this for budget reasons”.
- He doesn’t want to be the one to actually have to pin things down.
- Introduces characters with lines such as, “We’ll call him Bob. He’s middle-aged and normal looking.” (rather than “Bob, 37, cat hair on the knees of his cheap suit”).
- She doesn’t want to be seen as pushy or controlling.
- Uses “it’s like”, “almost as if”, “maybe”, “I think/feel”, “you could”, etc. in the action lines.