Writing can be a daunting task, especially for someone just starting out. Or you might be on the other end of the spectrum where you think your writing is immaculate. Wherever you are, you need to go through these points so you can be sure you’re avoiding such mistakes.

 

Hands resting on a red typewriter's keyboard

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

 

David Jackson Willis is a writer and director known for writing comedies. In this interview with Film Courage, he explains the common mistakes to avoid if you want to better your writing.

Here are the mistakes to avoid –

1) Passive lead character

Many times, the lead character just agrees to someone else’s suggestion without any argument or thought. This makes for a boring character. If the action doesn’t come from within the character then nothing is pulling the story.

2) No conflict or lower case conflict

Conflict creates drama and drama interests people. If there is no real conflict or deep conflict the drama dissolves soon and the people lose interest.

3) People play safe

They follow the formula to write a script. All the screenplay elements happen exactly at the specified time. The inciting incident, the midpoint, the third act etc. This appears very dull because there is no spark of madness in the script. Nothing unpredictable.

4) Know when to stop defending a pitch

When you’re sitting in a writing room and you pitch your idea to the executive producer if he asks you to drop the idea and move on you should move on. It is the executive producer’s job to know what can go on the show and what not. Hence, if he says no prepare to move on.

5) Take constructive criticism

Go to writer groups or meetups and read your scripts and get feedback from them. Sometimes, if you’re not happy with the note, then figure what actually caused the note. But learn to take criticism.

6) Don’t hold back

This is an industry where there are no real rules. There is no particular way to do things or particular things you can’t say. Bring your craziness out. Let it pour out from you.

 

Before you make a film from your script you need to learn about different ways to compose your frame to make it aesthetically pleasing.