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THE MISSING PIECE IN YOUR SCREENPLAY.

Updated: Dec 23, 2019



BY DAN HOFFMANN


One of the questions I get asked often is some variation of this;


" When you were a Script Reader, what did you find was the most common flaw in Spec scripts?"


I always get slightly dizzy when confronted with this question because Screenplays written on speculation, are often a Pile, a Pool, an overwhelming accumulation of mistakes.


It's like being asked; What is your favorite grain of sand in the Sahara desert? - pick one.

But then, when I thought more about it, I came to realize that four flaws stand out as the most common ones. I thought even harder about it, then realized that all of these four flaws can be boiled down to one Flaw.


One Flaw to rule them all !!!


This is an article about that one flaw - a mistake that almost every spec writer makes that causes the script to be rejected.


But before I get into the mistake, let me first address the three others;


1 ) CHARACTER MOTIVATION


The Protagonist in many spec scripts is very often, very poorly motivated. This has nothing to do with genre. But just to name an example out of many, let us look at a murder mystery.


If the main character is a detective, his goal is usually to investigate a homicide. What

is motivation to do so? - His Boss hands him the case file.