Michael Hauge's Writing Misdemeanors
These crimes may not get your screenplay or
manuscript rejected, but you should be definitely
punished for them...
SHOE LEATHER:Avoid scenes whose only function is to get characters from one place to another. Instead of showing your hero finish a phone call, grab his coat, leave his office, walk to the car, get in, drive, get out, walk into the bar and sit down, simply cut from his defeated expression during the phone call, to sitting alone at the bar. Unless something vital and emotional happens on the journey from point A to point B, omit all such "shoe leather" scenes - they're a waste of time, and dissipate the emotion. The same holds true for scenes where the dialogue tells us where the character is going to go, or what they're going to do. Show them there, doing it, and we'll figure out that they must have talked about it earlier.
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“… one of the few authentically good teachers out there. Every time I revisit my notes, I learn something new or reinforce something that I need to remember.”
- Jeff Arch, Screenwriter: Sleepless In Seattle, Iron Will, Saving Milly, Writer/Director: Dave Barry's Complete Guide To Guys
- YOU ARE READING THIS MISDEMEANOR
- HOW ABOUT A ROLL IN THE HAY?
- THIS ONE’S HILARIOUS
- LET’S SIT THIS ONE OUT
- I FEEL VERY UPSET ABOUT THIS ONE
- YOU'LL FEEL ECSTATIC WHEN YOU READ THIS
- THIS ONE MAKES ME ROLL MY EYES
- SHOE LEATHER
- GOING INCOGNITO
- NO DESCRIPTION
- JOHN, DON’T DO THIS
- THEIR THEIR, NOW.... ITS GOING TO BE FINE
- PUTTING DETAIL AND DESCRIPTION IN THE SCENE HEADING...
- SPEL CHEK
- OVERLAPPING DIALOGUE
- HAVE WE MET?
- CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
- TELLING US WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
- WHERE ARE WE?
- REPEATEDLY REPEATING WHAT YOU'VE REPEATED