Leapfrog the Boring Stuff!
Until you’ve done it a lot, you have no idea how much you can tighten your script.
One way to think about it, is to ask yourself, “If I cut this step, will it make the story go faster… and not sacrifice clarity?”
For instance. I have a scene where a guy is in trouble. Everything is falling down around him. His wife says, “Call your brother.”
He calls the brother.They decide they had better talk to the other brother who is in prison.They get in the car and drive up to the prison.All three brothers figure out what the next step will be.
So, on the umpteenth draft, I realized I can cut the phone call and the conversation. The RESULT of the call and the conversation is the visit to prison and the decision that is made there. So, lose the part I don’t need and speed up the story. We will understand that the call got made and that the decision was made to visit the convict brother… because we’ll SEE IT.
Don’t show and tell when you can show.
Now it becomes:
A guy is in trouble. Everything is falling down around him. His wife says, “Call your brother.”
They get in the car and drive up to the prison.
All three brothers figure out what the next step will be.
Even in the one line outline, you can feel the little SNAP when she says “Call your brother.” and we CUT TO them getting in the car and going up to the prison. Even on that little limited arena, you sense that it’s better.
It actually feels like a cut you’d see in a movie. It feels more like a movie. It’s better storytelling. Faster… faster…