Advice From Students

The semester is winding down and I have asked my students for advice they would give a student just starting the Screenwriting class. Thought I’d share.

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Do your homework. No matter how much you think you suck at it, or how terrible your writing is, turn something in.

Don’t wait until the last minute.This is one class where typical college procrastination will not cut it.

Try to get in the habit of writing every day. The act of writing will help with any writer’s block you might get.

Know your characters. Know your story. Know the details. Don’t just have a vague idea like, “girl gets kidnapped while on vacation and must fight for her life.” That could go a million different ways. Who is the girl? Why is she being kidnapped? etc.

Lastly, you will most likely suck and your script will be crap, but the only way to get better at writing, is to write.

*

Print your drafts to proofread. It’s annoying and wastes paper and ink, but it’s extremely helpful and the only way to effectively proofread your paper.

Don’t be afraid to write or be creative. Your ideas are never as bad as you think, and no one will judge you for what you write.

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The next to last one fascinates me, probably because I’m vastly older than they are. When I started writing, of course, you automatically had something to proofread you could hold in your hand because it was on a piece of typing paper. Now, students are very environmentally conscious and want to save trees.

It is a massive struggle to get students to print their work to proofread it. Even at the end of the semester, some of them weren’t doing it. Going Green is a great idea, but if you don’t have a hard copy to hold in your hand when you proofread, you may later wish you’d felled a few Redwoods instead.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Advice From Students

  1. sam

    learned something from another assistant on the show – print scripts with two pages per sheet. save as pdf and in adobe print “multiple pages per sheet”, 2×1 and in page setup change orientation to landscape. All the script in half the pages!

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Sam,

      Great advice. Two pages to a page is a great way to rewrite. Half the paper, half the toner, and all the value of red pen and white paper.

      You can print up to 4 pages on a page and still read it. I often do that when I want to look at the entire story… I lay it out on the dining room table and the whole script is c. 25 pages long.

      Whatever works!

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