Is your script autobiographical or are you bringing “you” to the page? There is a big difference.
A lot of screenwriters pull from their own true to life experiences. They write stories about actual events, situations and circumstances that have occurred to them or someone they know very well. Although this brings a wonderful aspect of realism to the script there are a couple of common issues that sabotage this process.
The first one is that writers may try to cram in too much of the repetitive story elements and situations because they are true and happened to them. This tends to slow up the narrative drive, through-line thus creating episodic scenes as there is not enough attention given to the forward and stake-creating elements that define good writing. The other common issue is that although the story is true-to-life and theirs, the execution on the page is not. It is typical, has a generic voice in the tone, the telling and the story and structural elements are common and oft seen. New story, tired and predictable execution.
On the other hand, bringing “You” to the page means more than just writing a script that you happened to be a part of--it means showing readers how you view that world and what that world is from a point of view that is entirely your own.
The writer’s own unique voice is the most important thing you can bring to the page because it is who you truly are, it is your life experiences--it is how you see the world and it issues from a place that is totally your own.
The truth is great, but we need to add the fiction to it to make it a screenplay that will be taken seriously. The writer needs to be the silent narrator, visually commenting on what is going on and in ways on the page that only they can. He or she will be signing every plot point, twist, reversal, hurdle and surprise while moving the story forward in a way that only she or he could.
Two great ways to determine where your script is in these regards is to get studio “long” coverage or a detailed analysis. Just so happens we have a special on these two services this month. November Specials apply.
Studio “Long” Coverage
: (sample on the website).
Detailed Script Analysis:
This thorough and in-depth look and commenting, employed in the rewrite, will definitely take your screenplay up to production level. Also available for one hour TV pilots, half hour TV pilots or short film scripts. (Sample on the website)