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Home » Archives » March 2007 » Hands are for typing, not waving
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03/25/2007: Hands are for typing, not waving

When you're writing your outline, remember that it's not a sales document. Once you're a writer on the staff of a show, the outline is going to be read and evaluated by others. But for right now, for writing a spec, no one but you -- unless you want input from friends -- is going to see this document. The purpose is not to convince anyone that the story works. The purpose is to figure out IF the story works.

This is your chance to visualize how the written script is going to work. The scenes, the transitions, any stylistic devices you might be using, these will all come to life on your inner screen as you write the outline. Problems that weren't obvious during the breaking process should start to become clear. This is your chance to find them and fix them early, so pay attention to those bits where you find yourself doing a bit of "hand waving." I'm talking about those places where you write things like "around this time we realize she loves him..." or "over the course of the next two scenes, his temper cools." It's okay if you know how you're going to accomplish this, but if you're just putting it off... that's a warning light.

If you let squishy stuff get through the outline stage, it's not like you got away with something. Because it's not gonna be any crisper when you sit down to write the scenes.

Lunch: cheddar cheese on crackers. Bad crackers, very cardboardy. (talk about not crisp)


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