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5 Ways To Stand Out In The Script Pile

One of the top searches on B2W is ‘How to get an agent or manager’ – so if this is you? Then make sure you check out this brilliant initiative from Coverage Ink! They’re a US company that offers quality screenwriting reports – I should know, ‘cos B2W reads for em (and so, incidentally, does B2W sistren Write So Fluid).

What I love about Get Repped Now is that it’s a win-win situation for writers: get that feted CONSIDER, a bona fide literary manager will check out your writing … But even if you don’t,  you get a detailed script report of things you can work on in your writing. What’s not to like??

So make sure you check out the list below, plus the other links from managers, agents and script readers (as well as B2W) on how to ensure you have your very best chance of EXPLODING out of that script pile. Good luck!

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Eight managers. Your script. Sound good? Of course, there is a catch — you have to get through the reader gauntlet first. Get Repped Now, a promotion from Coverage Ink, offers a panel of eight top literary managers who will read all the screenplays and teleplays which score a “consider” or better for script, submitted before Nov. 5.

Coverage Ink readers are a tough crowd.  In order to score that coveted “Consider,” you must demonstrate you’ve got the goods. Here are five things that can make a big difference in your writing and flip that “pass” on its ass. Effectively utilizing these five recommendations should turn even the grouchiest reader into a  passionate advocate. Let’s go!

1) Subtext is Your Friend

Story pros agree: the main way to add snap, crackle and even pop to your dialogue is to employ a second level of meaning — the words say one thing, but what’s REALLY being said is something else. One of the most recurrent problems we see in screenplays is flat, on-the-nose dialogue. But dialogue rich with subtext engages the reader on a whole ‘nother level and demonstrates you’ve got chops. Doing this well is deceptively difficult, and it takes practice to master. Here’s a great article to get started – READ NOW.

2) Don’t Forget the Ol’ Razzle-Dazzle

Know what’s really tiring? Reading a screenplay with a flat voice. Uninspired word and phrasing choices like “He stands and leaves. He walks down the street,” have a soporific effect. You’re a writer — show off! Where’s that panache, that sizzle, that je nest sais quoi or whatever? Turn a phrase and be a cunning linguist. One should ever “walk” — they should slink, sashay, saunter, sway, sally, swish, snake, and slither; never walk. And that’s just the esses.

3) Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

Another terribly common malady is overwriting.  So many scribes don’t properly edit themselves. Finished a new draft? Good. Now put on your editor hat and go through the script playing the “What can I cut?” game. Scrutinize every paragraph, every single line. If a sentence has 15 words, can you say the same thing in 10? Or five? Or cut it and just do it with a look? The more you tighten your craft, the brighter the sheen on the script.


4) Complicate Your Characters, Not Your Plot

Alas, so often we see the other way around — underdeveloped characters, needlessly complex plots. Movie throughlines are generally pretty damn simple — somebody needs to do something urgently, but someone else is trying to stop them. That’s pretty much all you need. As for characters, shoot for dimensional and layered. So many writers forget to detail their protagonists in Act 1 and just jump right into the story, which prevents us from getting to know or care about them. There’s a reason why most books tell you to put the inciting incident between page 10-15.

5) Surprise!

By far the best way to win a reader over: have a surprise on every page. Think about it. Any time you can jolt someone out of their torpor, zig when they thought you were going to zag, you add a soupcon of awesome sauce to your brew. Think about the tropes, what’s expected — and then do the opposite. If you can hit the reader with something they didn’t see coming? You will win incredible goodwill.

GRN blue spalsh

Enter Now

Get Repped Now runs until Nov. 5, 2017. Visit for more info and to enter your screenplay NOW!

More Links:

‘Why This Story?’ Or 8 Questions They’re REALLY Asking

7 Submission DON’Ts! From The Person Who Has To Read Your Script

7 Ways Of Showcasing Your Writer’s Voice In Your Screenplay

6 Things to NOT Do When Submitting Your Script

An Epic Rant On Writing Craft (And What It Means)

Top 5 Submission Mistakes Writers Make

3 Things I Learned From Literary Agent Fiona Kenshole

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