Notes from a Screenreader: The Bad Blind Date

image

Photo via Go Into the Story.

You have a blind date. Nothing to go on, just a name. You smile, you shake hands, and then without preamble, your date sits down and launches into a monologue of therapy-grade personal disclosure.

They tell you what the weather was like and what they were wearing during an event in their past, the significance of which is not even slightly apparent. This goes on for ten minutes. You checked out eight minutes ago. This is a terrible, terrible date.

 
Is your script a bad date?
 
  •  How memorable is it? A coffee date is not as promising as an ice-climbing or backstage passes date.
  • How charming is it? Is it focused completely on illuminating all the corners of itself, or does it understand which details are better left to the reader’s imagination?
  • Does it pick up the check? Good stories are cathartic. They don’t resort to half-measures at the end. The writer did the asking, so the writer pays.

Set out fully intending to get that second date.

 
ANNIE LABARBA 

Annie is a screenwriter, story consultant, and reader for major screenplay competitions.

Advertisements