Writers Need To Write

by | Apr 29, 2020

Let me just say it.

Writers need to write. Write an exceptional script with great characters who are in constant action and reaction.

What writers don’t need to do? Everybody else’s job.

The scripts that micro-manage every inch of the page by directing the most minuscule detail of movement, nuance, eye roll and sphincter twitch is a tedious read.

If you’ve written a scene based in conflict, the actor will give you everything you need in that scene. The actor will deliver text and subtext. The scene doesn’t get more clarity for the actor by ending a sentence with several exclamation points!!!!!! The actor isn’t driven to a greater moment of reflection by including an improperly placed ellipsis point….

The micro-management of editing has created a clutter of CUT TOs, SLAM CUTs and FADE TOs. Fyi, there’s no such thing as a FADE TO, it’s called a DISSOLVE.Intercutting within the scene spins the reader into vertigo for no good reason. Rarely is the intercut needed and in fact confuses the action.

Slugs have become a crazy pu-pu platter of anything goes. Can I get a DAY or a NIGHT? Can I get a slug with the basic information for the camera? INT. or EXT. Choose one. Not both. What the hell is SAME on a slug? SAME what? Why do I have to flip back five pages through SAMEs and CONTINUOUS and MOREs to figure out it’s a NIGHT shot?


My guess? It has to do with membership to a club. You feel more like a screenwriter when you use all the bells and whistles. You feel like a real pro, telling the reader every tiny edit or intercut or improperly placed (O.S.). It screams writer with an inferiority complex. Writer with a need to belong. Writer who defends the bad punctuation and format with the weak comeback, “but everybody does it.”

Come on, writers!

Write in master scenes. Let the director direct. Let the editor edit. Let the actor act.

You’re the writer.



Write on.

ProPath Screenwriting