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Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great

Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great

4.6 8
by William M. Akers

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ISBN-10: 1932907459

ISBN-13: 9781932907452

Pub. Date: 08/01/2008

Publisher: Wiese, Michael Productions

Don't worry about a producer, agent, or creative executive tossing your script at page ten. Use the Your Screenplay Sucks! checklist to eliminate the flaws in your script for a pedal-to-the-metal, cover-to-cover read.

In today's highly competitive story market, this is the only book that finds the flaws in your script - like a heat-seeking missile - and shows you


Don't worry about a producer, agent, or creative executive tossing your script at page ten. Use the Your Screenplay Sucks! checklist to eliminate the flaws in your script for a pedal-to-the-metal, cover-to-cover read.

In today's highly competitive story market, this is the only book that finds the flaws in your script - like a heat-seeking missile - and shows you how to eliminate them.

About the Author:
William M. Akers. a Lifetime Member of the Writers Guild of America, has had three feature films produced from his screenplays. His 105[degree] and Rising, about the fall of Saigon, is in pre-production

Product Details

Wiese, Michael Productions
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xii
Introduction     xiii
You have not written something you care about!     4
Your idea isn't vibrating with originality!     7
You picked the wrong genre!     11
Your story is only interesting to you!     12
Your story is about miserable people who are miserable the whole time and end miserably! Or worse!!     14
You haven't spent enough time thinking up a fantastic title!     15
You picked the wrong main character!     18
You haven't constructed your main character correctly!     21
You are not specific about EVERYTHING when you create a character!     26
You haven't made "place" a character in your story!     27
We have no rooting interest in your hero!     29
Your opponent is not a human being!     31
Your Bad Guy isn't great!     32
The opponent is not the hero's agent of change!     34
The Bad Guy doesn't feel he's the hero of his own movie!     35
You don't give your bad guy a Bad Guy Speech!     36
Your characters do stupid things to move the story forward, a.k.a. they do stuff because you make them!     38
Your minor characters don't have character!     41
Youworried about structure when you came up with your story!     43
You don't have enough tension!     44
You have no time pressure!     47
You don't give the reader enough emotion!     48
You bungled your story structure!     51
You have not done, and then redone, and REDONE, a one-line outline!     63
You have not done a "random thoughts" outline!     65
You have not used the Kerith Harding Rule of Drama!     70
Your B story does not affect your A story!     72
You don't use Set Up and Pay Off to your advantage!     73
You haven't buried exposition like Jimmy Hoffa!     76
You don't withhold surprises until as late as possible!     78
You haven't pounded each scene enough!     80
Your scenes don't turn the action!     85
You don't have enough reversals!     89
You have not shouted at each scene, "How can I jack up the conflict?!"     91
You have not used the incredible power of rhyming scenes to your advantage!     93
You haven't cut the first and last lines from as many scenes as possible!     94
Your character does research when she could be talking to somebody!     102
Your characters talk on the phone too much!     103
You have not made every scene memorable!     104
You don't keep a log of overheard dialogue!     106
You haven't separated the characters' voices!     107
You haven't worked your dialogue hard enough!     111
You didn't A-B the dialogue!     114
You have Q & A dialogue!     115
You have characters speaking text but not subtext!     117
You did too much research!     119
You didn't do enough research!     120
Physical Writing
Welcome to Writing
You aren't educated in your chosen storytelling medium!     128
You're using the wrong writing instrument!     130
Your prose is not CRYSTAL CLEAR!     132
You don't understand screenplay format!     138
You have naked sluglines or no sluglines at all!     154
You over-direct your actors!     157
You use parentheticals wrong!     158
You change character names on us!     162
Too many of your characters have names!     163
Character names begin with the same letter! or WORSE, they RHYME!     164
You do not describe main characters with a concise, telling, two (or so) sentence character description!     168
Scene Description
You use novelistic language!      171
You poisoned your scene description with "to be"!     173
You haven't cut as many "thes" and "thats" as possible!     175
You don't put the most important word at the end of the sentence!     177
You describe dialogue in scene description!     179
You have not paid attention to image order in scene description!     180
You haven't cut scene description to the bone!     185
Don't repeat! Anything! Ever!     195
You rewrite while you write!     199
You do a rewrite by reading the whole script at once!     200
You don't have a killer first page!     202
You blew your first ten pages! ARGGGGGHHHH!     210
You haven't ripped out the first twenty pages!     216
You haven't cut every bit of extraneous action!     217
You think your first (or ninth) draft is perfect!     223
Picky, Picky, Picky
You don't know the meaning of every word in your script!     227
You use numbers instead of words!     229
You call shots!     230
You call specific songs!     231
You didn't run your spellcheck, you moron!     232
You trust your spellcheck! Ah haa ha haaa ha ha!     236
You think longer is better!     237
You didn't read your script out loud!     238
You used a crummy printer!     239
What Now?
Don't Be a Jackass, Be Professional
You want to be famous more than you want to write!     244
You think your script is special and rules don't apply!     246
You put the wrong stuff on your title page!     247
You haven't done a table read!     251
You're dying to send the script out before you're really, really ready!     252
The Industry
You haven't the first clue how the business works!     255
You don't know what time they eat lunch in Hollywood!     258
Your sense of entitlement is in overdrive! a.k.a. "Don't fight the notes!"     260
You don't know what a decent query letter is!     262
You made boneheaded demands in your query letter!     267
You don't want to sign their release!     268
You think Hollywood will steal your idea!     270
You don't understand Hanlon's Razor!     272
You don't know the difference between Natalie Merchant and Patti Smith!     273
You don't know you can write your way out of a hole!     274
You don't know how to get an agent!     276
You get excited when they say they like it!     279
You're confusing hope with denial!      280
Fading Out     282
About the Author     287

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Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CHRIS-TUCKERIFICATION More than 1 year ago
An easy read that is fun and informative at the same time. Provides the reader with one hundred "rules"(guidelines) to writing a screenplay. Wether your writing a screenplay, have already written one, or are just thinking of writing one, this book will help you immensely! Akers is both entertaining and informative as he teaches us the essentials of writing for a motion picture, while adding a just the right amount of humor along the way. He also provides us with detailed examples to help us further understand his lessons, leaving up with no unanswered questions. pros: fun easy to read entertaining informative helpful cons none this book is perfect Recommedation: I recommmend this book to anyone thinking of writing a screenplay or even anyone who already has wriiten one, or is in the creative process. 10 out of 10! 100%! 5 stars!
ScottBuck More than 1 year ago
As a rank amateur working on my first screenplay, I happened to browse in a bookstore and spotted Akers' book. The title alone sold it. I was disappointed, not with Akers but with myself. He spells out the one hundred things most beginners and even some pros do wrong. In my case he hit about 75 of them. What a comeuppance! He provides detailed help and suggestions, often by giving examples from good scripts and bad, in many cases from movies we know. I have no doubt my work has improved by orders of magnitude as a result of this book. You'll not only read it two or three or more times, but you'll also keep it in ready reach at your work station.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was great. It got right to the point on what's wrong with most screenplays and how you can avoid these problems or fix them if you have them. It covered all aspects of screenplay writing from the correct format to how to make your story entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ShaneB More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING. I have read 6 different books on the topic of screenwriting, and this book is the one I find myself going to for help. While all the books covered pretty much the same things, the language in this one made the topics understandable. As a new writer, I never understood how hard it is not only to write a screenplay,but how many rules must be followed. Thanks to this book, writing isn't a issue. This book I have declared my "BIBLE" for the craft. There is one mistake you can make as a new screenwriter that isn't mentioned in this book, and that's NOT buying it. So if you wish to have any chance as a unpublished writer, GET THIS BOOK.
Carolyn-Denise More than 1 year ago
I've bought both the Kindle and the Paperback editions of this book. This is the most fantastic book on screenwriting basics ... and the glaring pitfalls to avoid! ... out there. You can write, re-write and edit until you're blue in the face (and starting to resemble a Smurf!), but this breaks things down even more for you. I'm actually looking forward to the process of going back and attacking my script and comparing it to the checklist from the book. Thank you, Mr. Akers, for sharing your knowledge of what can REALLY make our scripts suck! This is now my new screenwriting "bible" for every project I work on!