Went in thinking “Eh, it’s not great, but it doesn’t suck, surely?” As I read, sure enough, looked up and said “Yep, my screenplay sucks!” Took specific notes on more precise lines of action; I was being way too wordy! Novelistic, indeed! Not to mention gaping plot holes and character details that I had just not considered before. I had always tried to write telling myself, “character before narrative, let the former drive the latter.” And while I thought myself to be doing so, I made the fatal mistake of only thinking of characters within the contents of the story. I asked questions about them that in the end forced characters into a narrative, and didn’t allow the characters to be true people and help mold the narrative.
Must say, it left me in a state of writer’s block for a few days. But EUREKA! Had the most productive day of writing in a couple of months today, this time trying to apply points from Your Screenplay Sucks! to make it well…suck less! What was written today is still undoubtedly first draft writing, but writing with what I learned in mind definitely made a difference! Comparing two pieces of writing, one before reading the book and one after reading the book, I found a substantial difference. The “after” piece came off as far less pretentious and read like something I would actually want to read. I often get so caught up in describing the movie in my head that I forget to consider how the content reads on the page — another point you made in the book! Much more clear results after applying your lessons.