Making Sure Each Page Counts

By Cameron Cubbison · March 8, 2015

We are always giving tips on how to spark writing and how to make sure a certain amount of pages gets done. But what about when you get on a roll and the pages are flying? When, maybe, you are going so fast that you might need to look back on what you are actually writing…

When we do find our writing groove, we tend to hum through pages. It's the Will Ferrell "black out" scene from Old School all over again. But looking back on those pages can sometimes prove disappointing. Our formatting is sloppy. The action lines are not crisp and concise. And the dialogue sounds terrible when read aloud. So how can we ensure that a writing mood does not produce crap writing? 

1. Go Slower Than Usual

STOP! And take each page for each page. A tip that can help this is to edit each page after you write it. If you feel yourself blowing through pages, then go back and reread the page and make sure its contents line up with that segment of your story. 

2. Print Out Your Pages More Often

This can work wonders. A printed screenplay page reads MUCH DIFFERENTLY than a page on your computer screen. The action lines and dialogue take new shape as the page is birthed from the printer. 

After each segment checkpoint you have set up be sure to print those pages off and read them aloud. Does the dialogue flow well? Are there extra action lines that need cutting?