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Writing the Short Film, 3rd Edition by Ken Dancyger, Patricia Cooper

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7

On Revision: Substance and Style

First drafts are for learning what your story or book is about. Revision is working with that knowledge to enlarge or enhance an idea, to re-form it. The first draft … is the most uncertain — where you need the guts, the ability to accept the unperfect until it is better.1

BERNARD MALAMUD

What is a draft? For our purposes, a draft is a major rewrite of your script. In working on early drafts, try to avoid simply polishing, other than cutting long speeches or monologues. We will consider ways to hone your dialogue when we look at second-draft rewrites; at present it should be enough for you to review the sections on dialogue as exposition and dialogue as dramatic action in Chapter 6.

The great writer/director ...

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