Print To Proofread!


You young folk out there, you don’t think like us old hipsters, and it shows. You write in a computer, you rewrite in a computer and you email your documents straight from a computer to someone else’s computer.

This is fine for dirty text messages you send to Tiger Woods. Not so fine if you are trying to earn money by being coherent and professional.

I know it’s all green ‘n shit not to waste trees, but your not buying a ream of paper is not going to save a redwood, believe you me.

My students refuse to print their work out to proofread it and so I am the one who prints their work and I am the one catching their bonehead proofreading mistakes… and in Real Life, I would be an agent or a producer going, “My. This cretin certainly is a sloppy writer. I wonder where he lives? I think I’ll just send someone over to burn his house and kill his dog.”

When it’s time to proofread your work, print it out. On an actual sheet of paper. Get your trusty red pen and read the stuff aloud — from an actual sheet of paper. If you do not print to proofread, you will miss mistakes. Reading work in a computer is not the same as reading it on a sheet of paper.

Trust me.

I’m right on this one.



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9 responses to “Print To Proofread!

  1. You are 100% right. Just when you think your work is done, you should print it out. A typo RIGHT THERE will smack you in the face. Never fails.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Yeah, buddy. I have to assume my students assiduously read and reread their stuff, and I only read it once. I find mistakes ALL THE TIME… and am beginning to realize it’s simply because they proofread in their computer.

  2. Melody Lopez

    The other benefit of printing to proof read is that you see the white space on the page (or the lack thereof)….clumps of dialog and action lines look a lot more obvious when you are holding the paper vs. looking at a screen…I often think the speed of the read is definitely correlated to the white space on the page (or the lack thereof)…like when I was younger, I wouldn’t pick books to read that didn’t have pictures to break up the pages of texts…my imagination is so vivid that I’m a slow ready cause I’m seeing the pictures as I read…and being so slow…I would need the books to have actual pictures to give me a break from all that text…like white space offers in a screenplay….I could be wrong…but its why I proof off printed pages….and I save the proofed pages and mark x’s through the proofed side and use the other side to print the next draft (since the paper is already three whole punched…I saves a small amount of time…two for one… don’t feel guilty about not being “green”…and I recycle…)

  3. yourscreenplaysucks

    The more white space, the more the reader is going to want to read your script as opposed to the one with every spot crammed with words. Lean toward Walter Hill’s style (ALIEN) and you’ll have a ton more white space. If you could figure out how to have NO words at all, you’d have the easiest read there is!

    • Melody Lopez

      would one still have to run spell check if one is brilliant enough to figure out how to write a no word screenplay?

      things that make you go hmmmm….

  4. Sigh. I’m an offender. Will told me to print to proofread three times in my audio notes.

    I have to remember this stuff will wind up in his blog! MAN!!!

  5. I always print to proof. It’s something we do in newspapers, too. Errors just jump out at you on the page in a way they don’t on the computer screen.


  6. Alan

    Reading work IN a computer? : )

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