First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99.
UntitledI’m a little late on this, but this is a review of my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader that appeared on the Trigger Street site by Eli Donaldson:

I got a Kindle addition of Rantings and Ravings about three days ago. I’m maybe a fifth or a quarter of the way into the book. And I see a lot of good things you are pointing out that are mistakes that writers are constantly making in screenplays, and some laughs at some of the unintentional things writers often do. Your book would be $3.00 well spent for 80 or 85% of the writers here.I’ve read probably 250 to 300 screenplays in the last several years at Trigger Street, and a smaller but similar group. And I have the feeling that if the writers of these screenplays would only have read your book before writing or submitting their screenplay that it probably would have knocked out half to two-thirds of the errors that I had to point out.I’m happy that you mentioned over describing the scene, the building, what a character is wearing, and how their hair is styled because that is one of the things that many new writers definitely over do.

And I also love it that you mentioned that the smaller actions or plot points usually need to make sense within the larger scope of the story or something will seem wrong to the reader. It made me think of this one screenplay that I read that I kind of have to laugh about even though the writer didn’t intend it to be comedy. It was about this Hero who’s wife (the love of his life) had been kidnapped, and he was crossing the North American Continent state-by-state to rescue her. So the larger concept of the story would be rescuing the love of his life, and in certain scenes, he was the most love-sick guy ever for his wife, missing his ‘one-and-only’. But that being said, in the course of this story, the Hero then proceeded to have sex with probably 80% of the females he met in the story. And probably 100% percent of the females older than 17 and younger than 45. Yet, this writer seemed to kind of miss the point that it was hard to believe that his wife was the love of his life when he was getting it on with every woman of age that he met. And it also took away from the sense of urgency you would have thought the Hero would have had about making the rescue. If only he’d have read your book before submitting, maybe he would have realized this?

I have a feeling that I’m going to enjoy the rest of your book. I will probably go, “Yeah. I’ve seen that mistake.” And hopefully, you’ll alert me to a few mistakes that I might have made in my own screenplays before I make them.

Eli Donaldson


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