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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Is there anything other than queries to do with these scripts that I've finished, and actually work well?
You mean, aside from sleeping with agents / movie stars / producers and leaving them on the bedside table?

There's always staged readings in LA. Rent an Equity Waiver 99 seat theater on a Monday and get a bunch of actors to read it out loud. Invite every agent and producer you can. If your hook is good, they might come. Or send someone. If the dialog is great, that might make a bigger splash than a query letter.
Q. The thing that is weakest in my writing now is my character voices and popping dialogue, do you have any strategies on making them shine?
Same answer. You don't necessarily need to rent a space and invite people, but if you can con or pay actors (or feed actors) into reading your script out loud, there is nothing better for hearing what's working in your dialog and what's not.

In a pinch, your friends can read it out loud, but they may destroy your lines, so don't feel bad if they do.

Try writing a couple of scripts that rely heavily on character drama rather than action / suspense / intrigue / mystery -- internally driven rather than externally -- that may help you develop your character muscles.

Also try watching character-driven TV shows, and analyse how the plots work. What do the characters want? What are the obstacles? How are the stories set up and resolved? Try simple shows like EVERWOOD rather than pièces de résistance like MAD MEN. I couldn't tell you how a MAD MEN plot is constructed. But if you want ten hours of slightly cheesy but well executed TV drama, and really think about what's going on, that might help you understand drama better.

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