I do a lot of coverage of screenplays these days. I see a lot of common mistakes.
The following are a series of concise screenwriting tips.
#1 - FONT/WRITING PROGRAM
A lot of writers seem to think that writing a screenplay in anything other than Final Draft is fine.
'You can't tell the difference' - is the main excuse I hear.
No - you're wrong. I can tell the difference. So can professional Managers, Agents, Readers and Producers.
When a reader sees that a script was written in anything but Final Draft - they automatically flag the screenplay as amateur. Then when they see one more red flag, they start to skim read. Give then one or two more red flags and odds are they'll move into super skim-reading mode, then write up a really quick summary that ends with PASS.
A lot of new writers don't seem to understand just how saturated the screenwriting market is.
There are 50,000 screenplays registered at WGAw yearly. On top of that it's safe to say there are another 50,000 scripts written yearly that go unregistered.
So that's 100,000 screenplays written EVERY YEAR.
Then factor in that it can - in some instances - take 10 years to see a script go from page to the screen - in which case your screenplay is competing at any given time, with over 1 million other scripts.
Think about that for a moment.
That's a lot of screenplays.
If you can't be bothered to make the investment of $200 and get the ONLY piece of software you need to write screenplays professionally, what does that say about you as a writer?
It says that you're not taking it seriously.
When a reader sees that - they check out. And unless your script is incredible - which - odds are it isn't - not by a country mile - then after two pages they've checked out completely - and they're moving onto the next script.