I have been recently reading Paul Chitlik’s book “RE-Write: A step by step guide to strengthen structure, characters and drama in your screenplay” to try to get some ideas about different ways to re-write and edit my scripts… yes I know – I am weird!
The book has some great ideas and insights.
I then followed it up with Blake Snyders “Save The Cat” and the classic Karol Griffiths “The Art of Script Editing: A Practical Guide for Script and Story Development”… because, you know – I am a sucker for punishment.
So what I gleamed (or is that gleaned) from these books is the following 12 tips for writing a basic script – and I thought I would share them with you to aid in your script copywriting. This is mainly for creative scripts – but can equally be used for any and all radio commercial scripts.
- Write down everything to start with, just to get your ideas down on the page.
- Give a rough edit to trim for size.
- Leave the script for a bit, then come back to it.
- Does it fall into any of the Copywriting formulas – does it need to? If so fix the script.
- Next check for typos, business/product names and contact points are correct, etc
- Now the hard work starts… Question every single line. Does it sell the story, does it need to be there?
- Re-Write each line if needed.
- Leave it again, then come back to it.
- Speak your script out loud – into a recording device (PC or phone) and play it back… does it work?
- Tweak the script again to fix any problems or issues, including any weird pronunciations that need to be noted.
- Make a final check of the script, does it cover everything in the Copy Brief or what the client wants?
- Finally… make sure it runs to time.
Sure there are other steps I could have included – especially when writing a creative script – for example: Do you have an action or scene set, a conflict, and a resolution? – but I think that really is covered in tip 1 with getting any and all of your ideas down on the page.
I am sure there are other steps that other copywriters have – and I would love to hear them.
For example I know of one copywriter who only starts to write AFTER they know which voice talent they want to use – why? Because they know the cadence and voice range that the talent has, so they can write to their strengths.
Another Copywriter I know writes a generic script, a creative script and one in between the two, so the client is presented with 3 scripts to choose from – but they don’t send them the scripts – they send a rough recorded mock up of each script for the client to hear and choose from.
It’s all in your processes, the steps that you take, and how much time you have up your sleeve.
I’d love to know yours… let me know below.
Cheers, and see you next time!