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This Common Piece Of Advice Might Be Ruining Your Script


One of the most often repeated bits of screenwriting advice bestowed upon the aspiring, from the non-aspiring, is ‘make sure there’s something compelling on every page.' This seemingly innocent, helpful, and mildly obvious advice has been so thoroughly misinterpreted by writers, directors, producers, and studio executives that it’s become a major contributor to the massive problems we have in screen storytelling today.

But don’t worry, there’s a remarkably easy solution. Kinda.

This article originally appeared in Script Magazine. It is reprinted here with permission. To read the original article head to

The problem starts with the definition of ‘something compelling’. Far FAR too many people in the movie business equate ‘compelling’ to ‘loud’. Or ‘funny’. Or ‘gory’. Or ‘BIG’. Make every page a page-turner. Give the reader a reason to keep reading. You’ve heard it, I know I have. It’s garbage. I’m a fan of large stunts, of movies that include cinematic wonder and majesty. Loud and big have their place, and should always. But never on every page.

A truly compelling script knows how to balance the loud and big, with the small and emotional. If there’s too much of one, and not enough of the other, the movie or TV series usually fails. And the spec script by the unsigned writer definitely crashes and burns.

To read the full article head to

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