This week's Answer:
Ridge, I sympathize with you (if you
need any sympathy, which you might not).
Knowing when your screenplay has fully “faded
out” in terms of no more writing is not always an easy
thing that might help is to know that every time you read
through it, you will, without doubt (although we often
have doubts about our screenplays) see where you can and might
make improvements. Even
if you read your screenplay fifty times, you’ll always
catch something that you can change.
(Now, fifty-one is a completely different story.
After fifty-one, that’s your final draft.
Not really.) It
can drive you crazy if you let it.
So don’t let it. The solution: Never
reread your screenplay.
Not really. Reread
it as many times as you want.
Just know that you’re always going to want to
And try not to kick yourself for missing something
that you see later. It’s
the nature of the beast.
And another thing that will help you in this matter
is that, once you sell your script, unless you’re the
head of the studio or the executive producer (actually,
that may not work because there are often more than one
executive producers on a project – which makes me wonder
why they’re called “executive” in the first place),
others – and I mean a lot of “others” – will be
changing (hopefully “changing” doesn’t mean
“ruining without mercy” in your case) your script.
It will pass through many hands.
(That’s why you always want to wash your hands
after touching a script.
You don’t know where it’s been.)
Everybody from the producer to the costumer may
influence your work.
Heck, if a mailman accidentally drops the envelope
with your screenplay and it falls out, before it gets back
in the envelope, he may do a full rewrite.