No Important Off Screen Action

I don’t read my blog.

Contrary to what you might think, I’m not up at the crack of dawn every day, reading my year and a half worth of blog entries… So, if this is one that repeats, forgive me.

One step in the Laser Beam Read of your script (see Chapter 68 of my fabulous book!) should be reading through the whole script and asking, “Is there anything important that happens off screen, or that someone describes to our main character that would be better being SEEN.”

I know this because I am in the process of rewriting a scene… first several drafts… a guy comes up and asks a friend where the girl is who was waiting for him… the friend says, “She just left with your dad.” Ewwwwww. Scarred for life.

It was fine, and it worked okay, but on the most recent read, I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be BETTER if the hero walks up, sees his father putting the moves on the cute girl who had promised the hero she’d wait for him… father gets the girl to leave with him… while the son arrives on the sidelines, too late to prevent it…”

A heapin’ helpin’ of agony, made stronger because it is not described to us, as an event that happened someplace else, a while ago, but as an event that the hero experiences first hand, making him FEEL more, and in this case, feel badly.

So, do a read through just asking the ONE QUESTION: What happens off screen that I might want to move into the spotlight? Good question. Good luck.

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