Over the last few months I have been working as an independent Script Reader, offering Screenplay Coverage for both feature and short screenplays.

In a nutshell, all that means is that I take a writer’s screenplay, read it, make constructive notes and then send them a report.

It has all been going rather well (how very English of me), with plenty of high praise from both my clients and the amazing script guru, Lucy V. Hay.

Because of this, I thought I would share with you a list of the common errors/mistakes that I come across when reading screenplays.

In other words, I finally have something to say that might be worth listening to…

I’ve called these common errors “The Usual Suspects” (do you get the clever film reference?) and have split them into the following sections:

  • Formatting
  • Spelling and Punctuation
  • Action description
  • Character description
  • Characters
  • Dialogue
  • Show don’t tell
  • Telling the audience what it already knows
  • Pacing
  • Plot

These are not in order of importance (otherwise “Plot” wouldn’t be at the bottom) and each section contains a number of different “suspects”.

I will be writing several blogs revolving around the above subject matter. If you are interested in screenwriting and more particular, the mechanics of a screenplay, you might find them useful.

First up: Formatting (Part One)

If you’re a writer looking for screenplay coverage, then head over to my dedicated page here:

Screenplay Coverage