Scriptwriters: This Detail Matters

You learn a lot as you go along in this professional writing business. Most of the time the learning is instinctual, and occasionally you’re asked to codify it for an article or an audience. It’s an uncomfortable process, and then you find that whatever you’ve picked up in the writing school of hard clichés was said years ago by Stephen King.

Here is one thing that I’ve never heard before, and like the irritating click baiter I long to be, I’m going to put it after the jump. You know why they tell you to read your work aloud? Digital transformation.

‘Digital transformation’ is such a buzz word at the moment, and it’s a mouthful. I’ve asked three different seasoned presenters to say it on camera in the last couple of months, and they’ve all emerged at the last syllable with a look that says ‘Stick that unalloyed professionalism straight on the showreel.’ Say it out loud now. Tricky, no? Now imagine it with the dead eye of a camera staring you down.

If you’re writing a script that has to be read out loud, structure your sentences so that the difficult words are at the beginning of the edit point. Few things are more frustrating than going through a paragraph of easy stuff, only to trip up on the last word and have to do it all again. And again. And again.

Anything that’s a mouthful might also be unfamiliar to the audience, so it’s probably best to define the terms at the start, I suppose. But mostly it’s to save expensive studio time, and put yourself as writer into the good books of the presenter, floor manager, editor, client and camera operators.

So that’s my 2¢: clunky stuff first.

Everything else about writing you can probably get from Stephen King.

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