Is It Done, Yet?

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Is It Done, Yet?

In some ways, a script is never done. If you pick up a script today that you thought you finished a year ago, I bet you'll find things to change. But at some point you have to decide it's time to send it out.

Ask yourself, "Can it be better?" If you can honestly answer, "Not to the best of my knowledge," then submit it somewhere. If you have turned yourself inside out, fixed every problem you saw, put the script aside, looked at it again and again, and satisfied yourself that you've done your best, kiss your script goodbye and send it to fend for itself in the wilds of Hollywood. Most likely it'll come home with its tail between its legs, begging you for another rewrite, but don't despair. Take your lumps with pride and pat yourself on the shoulder for having made the next step. Your choices are either to rewrite it yet again or to start a new screenplay.

Unfortunately, most screenwriters send their script out when their answer to "Can it be better?" is, "No. It's perfect! Except for that little problem in the second act. And I still haven't resolved the love story. But otherwise it's ready." Don't make this mistake. "Take the time to perfect your script," says producer Maggie Soboil. "Present the finest work you can. You should be proud to attach your name to the script you're sending out."

Be honest with yourself when evaluating your work. If you see a problem, others will, too. No matter how sick you are of working on the damned thing or how eager for market feedback, never, ever market a script you know is flawed. Nobody wants to waste their time on work you know is substandard, so show your readers some respect. Find the discipline to finish the job.



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