Proofread. If you suck at it, get someone to do it for you. Take the time to do this stuff RIGHT.
Never forget the reader’s pile of screenplays.
I gave a script to a director, a guy I KNOW, for him to read… that was in October. It is now May. He has been busy. I have sent him two gentle tickle emails, asking if he’s gotten to my script. Each time he’s talked about the massive reading pile he has and how much he wants to get to my script. I, naturally have suggested he read in alphabetical order by last name of writer…
In any event, he will eventually get to my screenplay. And you can bet your ass that if it’s sloppy, or I have all kinds of spelling mistakes or sentences that are difficult to understand or if the story doesn’t get started right away… he will put the thing down. Why should he bother to read it if I haven’t bothered to make it sing?
It’s been waiting patiently for him to read for months and months, but if he thinks I don’t care about the quality of my work, then he will stop reading it and that script will not be read by that director.
You only get a few chances for someone “real” to read your work. Why would you blow it by making it clear you don’t care about quality?
Don’t be sloppy.
This stuff matters.
Do the finest job you can.
If you don’t care about your work and how it appears, imagine how little a total stranger is going to care…