Beware your tics!

One thing you must hunt down are your own writing quirks. Like weeds in the yard, they just show up uninvited.

One of mine is “And”.

I start sentences with “And” ALL THE TIME. In dialogue. In action description. It’s just something I do, like breathing. Can’t help it. Where’s James Whitmore with the Miracle Gro weed killer when I need him?!

The good news is that I’m aware of my flaw. Wish it were the only one. What are writing tics you find yourself in need of eradicating?

Just went through a script I’m working on. Searched for “And” and made it case sensitive. Twenty of the little devils, or more, in the draft.

And they’re sure not there now.

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8 Comments

Filed under Bad Writing, Details, Rewriting, Scenes

8 responses to “Beware your tics!

  1. I have a problem with … ellipsis.
    They’re do damn … cute.
    I think I have them under control … for now.

  2. Mellisa

    I AM SORRY. BUT I AM UPSET AT THIS ARTICLE.
    WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME HOW TO WRITE?
    WHO ARE YOU TO TELL US HOW TO BE ARTISTIC?
    I READ SCRIPTS FROM THE BL AND NICL and FROM OTHERS WHO THING THEY ARE GOOD.
    THEY ARE SO BORING. TICKS ARE GOOD TO MAKE THE SCRIPT UNBORING.
    WHY ARE THESE SCRIPTS SO BORING LATELY.
    BECAUSE THEY DON’T USE STYLE AND TICKS.
    TICKS ARE GOOD.
    AND DID YOU EVER SEE HOW WE TEXT.
    IN THE FUTURE SCRIPTS WILL WRITTEN WITH LOTS TICKS
    LIKE A LONG TEXT.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Mellisa,
      Didn’t mean to upset you. All depends on what you think weak writing is. I make mistakes in my work that are often automatic and I have to recognize them and get rid of them.
      Like “And” at the beginning of a sentence.
      If it fits the character and works for the scene, I keep it.
      Otherwise I get rid of it.
      Style is superb. Style is marvelous. Read BAD SANTA. There’re lots of scripts that have a writing style.
      But bad writing is bad writing and you need to get it out of the script because the people with the checkbooks don’t like bad writing.
      Style, they like, unless it gets in the way.

  3. Mellisa

    Okay, we have tics. But who do use to get rid or advise on tics.
    Readers are very so odd. Meaning yes, we pay them but when do they guarantee the work. I could send 200 dollars to some guy but what guarantee I have the guy will deliver? Does paypal have refunds?
    I don’t trust readers now, because , the ask me to pay first. Okay I have some tics in my script because I am from UK and moved here. That is because I used to write rap songs(mostly lyrics). Why do I have to pay first.
    Can’t these readers give the notes first and then I pay. I don’t trust these readers.

    Bye, hoping to see if I have too many tics in my script.

  4. S.A. CARPENTER

    Dear Miss Melissa,

    Welcome to the biz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mr. Akers has nothing to gain by upsetting his readers, so I don’t think his intention was to direct criticism at anyone in particular. I have found that Mr. Akers’ tips have helped me to write lean and tight scripts with a stronger first 30 pages.

    That’s seems to be the objective in writing scripts that get optioned.

    He makes you rewrite and that’s what it’s all about. If you don’t like rewriting, then you may want to get out of screenwriting.

    I’ve spent the last six years working on a spec. and have revised it 16 times. I have over four feet of scrap. His tips can seem anal, but there not really.

    I see films all the time and wonder how the hell they got made. It almost always boils down to networking and some dumb luck. Read the story behind “Rocky.” Stallone went to an audition that Chartoff and Winkler were conducting and made a connection with them.

    I guess the point that I’m trying to get across is that until any of us, aspiring screenwriters, are lucky enough to acquire the connections we’re left to play the “and, turn, walk, talk, etc…” game.

    I think it was Paul Chitlik who wrote, “everyone hates to read screenplays, but everyone wants to read a good one.”

    Mr. Akers’ tips will help you WRITE GOOD ONES, they helped me!!!!!

    And that’s all folks!!!!!!!!

    S.A. CARPENTER
    Author of the motion picture screenplay “Chic.”

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Well, thank you.
      That went right to the point.

      I agree that it’s all about rewriting. For me, it takes about half the time. But it depends on what you count as the “time.” Planning and outlining takes forever. Writing the first draft is the smallest part of the entire equation. Then the rewriting. It all takes forever.

      Well, not really forever, but close to it.

  5. R

    Are there any other words that should be cut out like “and” at start of dilaogue? Should “and” be limited as much as possible in scene description? Even if it’s not at start of sentence.

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