Be Careful When You Move A Scene…

If you cut and paste, moving a scene up towards the top from someplace in the middle… be damn sure you proofread to make sure you haven’t make a mistake or forgotten something.

Something important!

When you put a scene in a new spot, the content of that scene affects all the scenes that come after it, AND the meaning of the scene, or a tiny piece of the scene, may no longer work due to the new placement.

So beware moving stuff around. These are not identical tiles like on a bathroom floor. They can move, yes, but you better check to make sure you have not cut your own throat when you weren’t looking.

You can bet the person (development, actor, agent) who is reading it for the first time is going to be picking up on every detail. So should you, before you give it to them.

A word to the wise. How do I know this? I just was reading something I’ve been working on, and found a GIANT mistake after moving a scene. Whew.



Filed under Rewriting, Scenes

5 responses to “Be Careful When You Move A Scene…

  1. Melody Lopez

    Good thing you caught it!

  2. Péter (Berlin, Germany)

    Working on the latest draft I just realized i had copy & pasted the same scene to two different places in the script. Just caught it because I printed the whole draft for proof reading and read the whole thing in one session.
    Bonus thing was it made me wonder if I needed the scene at all if it could so easily fit “anywhere.”

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Absolutely! It’s amazing how stuff lingers when you don’t really keep your finger on it. One of the problems with Computer Assisted Design drafting software is that, unlike old fashioned drafting, where you had to redraw the entire set of plans every time you updated it… with CAD, you just make the change you want to the area you want, and then print the whole set of plans. Nifty. But, if you ever make a mistake in the plans, the mistake is left in there, redrawn time after time after time. If you were redrawing the plans by hand, there is a good chance you’d spot the mistake and correct it. Which is one reason why buildings fall down… sort of like a screenplay.

      Plus, it’s fascinating that you found you may not need the scene, if it can just go anywhere. Good luck with it!

      • Péter (Berlin, Germany)

        Thank you. I decided I could maybe use this mistake. So, I rewrote the “first” scene and used the second one to payoff something I now planted in the first one.

        I shipped today.

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