Notes from a Screenreader: Hoarder Edition

image

Photo via Go Into the Story.

A first draft is a hoarder house. It is piled full of things of great value to the writer, things that feel necessary and beautiful and valuable, or at least are too nice to throw away.

The experience of the reader to the hoarder draft is, “Why are you keeping all of this stuff?”

  • The Trash Pile. Everything that once might have been important but now only endangers the readability of your script. Exposition and backstory that aren’t necessary, odds and ends of plot possibilities that dead-ended, overdevelopment of subplots and minor characters, scenes in which nothing new happens, scenes that report what’s about to happen or just happened—all junk to readers.
  • The Sell Pile. Ideas and characters and pieces of dialogue you can turn a profit with in a different story.
  • The Keep Pile. The smallest pile, the final draft, the nice furniture, the statement piece of art, the piano, the good china. A place for everything and everything in its place to create a living space for your story that is devoid of clutter and ready for guests.

— ANNIE LABARBA

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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s