When your draft script is ready, it is probably not ready to send to a publisher or self-publish. Regardless of how you worked in the two previous phases of the writing process (part 1 & part 2), you have some editing work left to do before your script is complete.

How much work you have left depends. If you have worked a lot with your characters, you may notice that the design of characters and dialogues feels natural, interesting, readable. Therefore, in the editing phase, it is time to check that the text has everything to be published as a finished book. There is a lot to think about; here are some steps that contribute to the quality in your script.

Read your script:

Now it’s time to read your script from beginning to end. Read it as if it were a finished book. Note where you find gaps, where you want to add and remove text. Prepare that you will get to hang out with quite a few friends during this phase to make them read too. You may want to go through it digitally at first, but also print out scripts on paper and read with the pen in hand. Each time you change your way of reading, new things become visible to you. It can be from digital to paper or change fonts for example.

Check out the draft:

Once you have read through the script and changed the most obvious, there are some important things to check out. Check out drama, scenes, design, environments, characters and their developmental curves. Check if all threads are followed up or if there are loose ones and gaps. It is difficult to keep track of a larger body of text and many parameters at the same time. It makes it easier to stay focused on one thing at a time, such as choosing a perspective or dialogue for a review.

Take help:

No matter how much you try to read your text objectively, you will become blind to your text. One tip for creating objective reading is to leave the script lying and resting between the readings. However, it will take a long time for you to let it rest months between each editing session. Therefore, seek help from the eyes of others.

Experienced readers can read your script and give you feedback on the text. You can find test readers among reading friends, groups on Facebook, Twitter and also on various website who authors and readers review other’s work. Take the help from a professional reader too. Usually, you do not have as many friends who have the knowledge to read scripts professionally. Hire a professional who can read your script and provide feedback on how the script can be improved.

Spending too much effort with linguistic changes, grammar and spelling is a waste of time before you know what exactly should be left or not. Besides, when you give priority to what really matters it is easy to feel productive because you have done things, but if you do not benefit from them, productivity is an illusion.

All the best, S. Kohen



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