The Submissions Checklist

The Submissions Checklist

How to polish your play

It’s no good having brilliant supporting materials if you haven’t given your play that final polish before you send it out! It’s time now to cross all the t’s, dot all the i’s and make sure your play stands out. In this session, we’re going to provide some practical exercises to help you polish your script. After the exercises, you’ll find some advice on formatting and a guide to paying attention to those little details which will make your script easier to read and give it a professional slick!

Exercise 1: Read your play aloud

The best way to discover typos, plot holes and inconsistencies in your script is to hear it aloud. If you’re lucky enough to have some volunteers to read it for you, then great, sit down with your script and a pen and scribble down any inconsistencies you find. If this isn’t an option, just read it aloud on your own – it still makes a massive difference because reading aloud forces you not to skim read, therefore, it’ll be much easier to spot any errors!

 

Exercise 2: Do a final dialogue brush up 

  • You might remember the unit and action exercises from the Redrafting course; this basically involves going through your dialogue and giving each line a verb. This way, you know that every line is doing its’ job and driving the action forward. Whilst you might not have time to go through the whole play like this, it might be worth going through lengthier sections of text and making sure the dialogue is serving a purpose.
  • Do a final check for subtext and exposition, is any of your dialogue too ‘on the nose’ and now that you’re looking at the finer details could you add more interesting nuances to your dialogue?

Exercise 3: Do some final chopping

Like a hairdresser snipping away at those final stray hairs, whizz through your play with an imaginary pair of scissors and cut back on any of those lines that just seem too long, or repetitive. Don’t forget your stage directions either, they should be clear, concise and to the point!

Now you need to check your formatting is spot on. We’ve popped a handy guide to formatting on Word, as well as a list of things to check here: 

WordFormattingGuide

Formatting Check2

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