Friday, May 13, 2011

Stupid proofreading

The Nicholl reader line of the day is this:

"This writer opens with . . . character and plot intrigue that hooked me, then followed it up with a different character/plot one two punch that hooked me even more, then put those two characters on a collision course impossible to ignore. This script works on so many levels because this writer understands that no plot works well without characters who clash and learn from each other."

I'm a pretty optimistic person, so I thought hey, that could be my script. It's possible they're already reading mine because I was number 900-something.

I open with my antagonist in a pretty cool scene. Then I go to my protagonist, and then I lead them to each other until they crash. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, but still... could be me. I decided to look back over my script to see if they learn from each other at all, and as I read I discovered a bunch of tiny mistakes I didn't notice last time I did my check for errors. That time I was looking specifically for spelling and grammar, but this time I wasn't looking for anything, just reading. Maybe next time I should just do one last minute read of the script for shits and giggles with no agenda and I'll see things I wouldn't otherwise.

I noticed places where I had changed things and forgot to adjust a line of dialogue. Like originally an old lady died in an apartment so a character says "Who's the old lady?" except later I decided to let her live and took her out of the apartment. Now that character's line makes no sense. There are half a dozen little lines like this all over the script.

These aren't things that will get my script thrown out, and none of my readers have mentioned them so they must not be a huge deal, but I'm still kicking myself. One thing I learned as a copy editor back in college, it doesn't matter how many times you read something, you'll never catch every single mistake. Still, you want to catch as many as possible before someone else does.


  1. Please Don't Eat Me4:59 PM

    This is appropo of anything, except I think you might agree:

  2. Hah. Yeah that's the truth.

  3. Couple years ago I sent in a script to Nicholl that had a single sentence with both forms of "its, it's" in it. They were both used incorrectly.

    Caught that the day after I sent it in. Woo!

    The word that still sneaks past me from time to time is "from" because I often write "form" by accident.

  4. cshel6:10 PM

    What a cliffhanger. Screw the old lady - did you find that your characters learned from each other? Do you still think it could be your comment? : )

    Yeah, it drives me nuts when I go back and find a mistake. Especially when it's something I already read over 10 times. It's those damn SW gremlins getting into my Mac after I go to sleep. Little bastards...

  5. Obsessing over NIcholl reader comments will drive you crazy.

  6. I'm not obsessing over comments. I'm mad at not catching mistakes that I noticed when I reread my script.

  7. where did you get that Nicholl reder line of the day thing? Sounds interesting.

    Isn't somebody having a birthday sooooon? Say hi to the Cake.


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