So far, in my season of rewrites, we've looked at contrived conflict and problems with sidekicks. But instead of relying solely on myself and a few screenwriting pals to figure out problem areas in my work, I've also decided to take a look at my screenplay through the eyes of a closer.
Creative Screenwriting had an article about screenwriting top guns who rewrite green lit scripts that need to be tweaked. Closers basically ride in on white horses, identify problems, clean up, and then ride out with big fat checks in their boots. Don Roos is the Wyatt Earp of closers so who better to tap into for rewrite points?
Careful to never use the term "script doctor", Don Roos told CS that the diagnoses are always the same:
* dialogue which doesn't sound overheard
* characters who aren't specific - seem taken from other films
* main characters without edges - uncomplicated & too likeable
* absence of specificity & texture to scenes, characters and dialogue
So the first three are pretty much no brainers and while we amateurs are guilty of overlooking these kinds of flaws, I'm somewhat surprised that professionals don't grind their teeth to the roots when they read forced dialogue.
Still, this is my list as I review my Nicholl Fellowship entry for the umpteenth time but I wish Roos had elaborated a little on the fourth one. The specificity part I understand. It's the absence of texture to scenes and characters and dialogue that has me scratching my head. I've read a lot of guru books but for some reason this term, texture, isn't making a screenwriting love connection in my cerebellum.
A little help?