Whether you are a first-time or professional screenwriter, the thrill of finally completing a screenplay is the same – absolute euphoria! But, let’s be honest for a moment and ask yourself the tough question: Is your screenplay really finished? Are you ready to submit it to the world because you are so tired of thinking and dreaming about it and believe that it’s “good enough” despite knowing another rewrite (or possibly two or more) is needed? If your answer is yes, then know that you are not alone.
What should you do next? Take a deep breath. And slowly exhale. If you are tired, bored, frustrated, or (fill in the adjective) of your screenplay—so will the agent, manager, producer, script competition reader, and all the film industry folks to whom you are submitting your project.
Before you submit your screenplay, get feedback from people who will tell you the truth and nothing but the truth. Giving it to people who might sugarcoat their critiques, such as family members, most likely want to remain on good terms with you, so this is probably not your best choice. Knowing what to ask when receiving feedback will help you stay focused and enable you to gain more objectivity with your screenplay.
20 Questions to Ask When Receiving Feedback
1. Is the genre clear and consistent throughout the script?
2. Does the dialogue ring true for each of my characters or does it feel interchangeable?
3. Is this script a page-turner?
4. Are my characters empathetic?
5. Does my plot make sense?
6. Are my main characters’ journeys clear?
7. What elements made the story engaging? Were there places you lost interest?
8. Do any of the characters need to be further developed?
9. Are there scenes that drag or ramble?
10. Is each scene advancing the plot forward?
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