11 TV Writing DON’Ts!

This means you, bulb – erm, bub!

by Gloria Kopp

It takes an incredible amount of blood, sweat and tears to put together a script or screenplay that you can hold up proudly as your own creation. It takes an equal amount of nerve to present that screenplay to the world, opening it up to opinions and criticism. Present what you’ve written with the highest level of confidence, by avoiding these common mistakes that many tv writers make.

Spelling

These are just careless errors that could easily be fixed before sending out your scripts. What they tell the reader is that you didn’t put enough effort forward to proofread your work and ensure it was error-free before it went out. Resources at State of Writing can be a great help in locating and eliminating spelling errors. You’ll also be able to get a brief but clear explanation of different common spelling and grammar errors at Via Writing so you can avoid them yourself.

Formatting

Bad formatting sets a bad impression from the start. No matter how many scripts you’ve already written, bad formatting will make you look like an inexperienced amateur, and will instantly impact your credibility negatively. Cole & Haag formatting is still the preferred option for early drafts of television scripts, unless there is another one specified by the company in question. If you’re in need of formatting help, an experienced professional at Big Assignments can help you with editing your script so it’s formatted properly.

Music

It’s always a bad idea to add music to your script before you’ve got the rights to it. Most of the time, it’s not the writer’s decision anyway as to what music ends up being included. Leave the specifics of songs out, and keep things more general when you’re mentioning the type of music that’s playing throughout your script. Let a professional proofreader from UK Writings or Boomessays look through your work for instances of possible infringement that you need to change.

Leaving character’s names out

If a character speaks and is important enough to have lines in your script, he or she should have a name. It adds another level of dimension to the character and shows that you have an attention to these details.

Concealing information from the reader

Rather than trying to conceal details from the reader, you’re only obstructing the flow of the story and making things more confusing for them. Instead, you can include the details for the reader – such as the name of a character who is not yet known to others – that way, there is some clarity for the reader. A character should maintain their name throughout the script for the reader’s understanding, even if they are not known to the audience. If you need to add outside resources for clarity to the reader, Cite It In will help you write proper citations.

Trying to be a copy instead of an original

As much success as some screenwriters and directors have found, no one is looking for a carbon copy of them. What’s sought after are original thoughts, visions and voices. So, rather than trying to be the next Tarantino, find your own voice and inject it into your scripts. And, no matter what voice ends up being presented, make sure you’re sending your work out with perfect grammar, by using Academized or Elite Assignment Help to check your work.

Lackluster engagement

A strong writer is able to grab ahold of the reader’s attention and keep it throughout the entirety of the script. Though it may have valleys, it should keep hitting peaks. Learn the ins and outs of better writing at AcademAdvisor.

Playing the role of director

Even if you do plan on directing your script, there should be no mention of camera notes in your first draft of the script. This is a definite sign of an amateur writer, as the director is the one who will ultimately decide these creative choices. Camera notes don’t start to appear until the shooting script is written.

Acting as an editor

Just like the above mistake, you must avoid trying to play a role you’re not. You should definitely have an understanding of how editing works, but the job of editing should be left to a professional video editor.

Imbalance in Your Script

There needs to be a balance struck between dialogue and description. Huge expanses of either will set the script off balance. While these things may be perfectly suitable for a novel or stage play, they don’t exactly work in a screenplay. Keep your descriptions and dialogue under control by using Easy Word Count to track your work usage.

Skipping the proofreading

Once you finish your script, you’ll likely be excited to get it out into the world. But hold on, take your time and ensure you’re proofreading everything to catch those tricky mistakes. The extra time you take will be well worth it for avoiding embarrassing mistakes. When you want a real person to help you with the editing to find mistakes you’ve made, EssayRoo or Paper Fellows is the place to turn to.
Each of these on their own may not seem terribly consequential. But putting forward the best version of your work can do a lot to move things forward in a positive direction.


Gloria Kopp is a creative writer and an editor at Australian Help. She enjoy sharing her writing advice in her posts at HuffingtonPost and Ox Essays blog. Gloria also contributes reviews for students and educators at Best Australian Writers.