Rewrite It! Tips

Read these 7 Rewrite It! Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Screen Writing tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Do I need to rewrite after my first draft?

Writing Assignments Require Rewrites

Suppose you had a career in screenwriting. Writing regularly for Hollywood means writing “on assignment”--as opposed to “on speculation”. Writing assignments can require rewrites.

In other words, if you establish a screenwriting career, rewriting will be part of the job. It is also part of the job of establishing your screenwriting career.

   
Do I need to rewrite after my first draft?

Polish

The “last rewrite” of a screenplay is often a polish, but remember that writing is rewriting (repeatedly, if necessary). The term polish applies to the last draft of a writing assignment, but it can also mean rewriting done during production. In either case, a polish is what you might think (not a major rewrite).

   
Should I rewrite?

This Tip Was Rewritten

This tip had a first draft. A rewrite improved it. Rewriting this tip was fundamental to its effectiveness. Why? The first draft was much too wordy.

   
Should I rewrite?

Nobody's Perfect

Rewriting is essential for serious writers—especially those that write narrative works like screenplays. First draft screenplays frequently miss the 90 to 120-page length new writers must respect. You'd probably tell your story more succinctly in subsequent drafts. A first draft does not equal a final draft. Make yourself rewrite it.

   
Do I edit?

Sloppy Surely Won't Sell

First draft or twenty-first, edit! The act of typing FADE OUT does not mean you are done with a script. When you reach that milestone, the urge might be to “move forward” and try to attract industry attention. Slow down. Hollywood only wants professionals. Proofread and edit your work—because if it looks like slop, it will flop.

   
Should I rewrite?

Your Competition

Attaining a screenwriting career means beating out thousands with aspirations resembling yours. Your spec script is your resume. If you would only send out an error-free, clear resume that showcases your unique talents, do the same with scripts you send to anybody with the potential to help you sell your work. (Your competitors will.)

   
Do I edit?

Check for Errors

Writers are human—a fact that begets errors. As a professional—the image you must project to become a working screenwriter—you are the person responsible for your work's clarity. Proofread with a clear head. Spellcheckers help, but don't catch everything. Study your words for errors (including homonyms), make notes, and then clean up your mistakes.

   
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