Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

Veteran TV Writer Ross Brown Tells Screenwriters How to Rewrite Your Screenplay

As I'm sure you've heard before, writing is rewriting. Whether it's your vomit draft or your 100th revision, there are some simple steps to take to make sure your screenplay is in great shape.

“Rewriting can be really challenging because we all want to look at whatever we wrote and say, ‘that is brilliant. I don’t have to change a word!’ And that’s rarely the case,” said Ross Brown, who wrote for hugely popular shows like “Step by Step” and “The Cosby Show.”

Now he spends his time teaching other writers how to get their story ideas to the screen as the director of the MFA program at Antioch University in Santa Barbara.

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He's become an expert in rewriting over the course of his career, so we're happy to share his tips with you now!

  1. Read your script with fresh eyes

    “It’s really a learned skill to find out how to read your own work and edit it because you know what you meant, but you have to read it as if you’re somebody else reading it for the first time.”

  2. Go overboard on the notes

    “I think you should make extensive notes on it. Any time anything occurs to you that it might not be right, put a mark next to it there so you can come back to it again.”

  3. Pay close attention to your dialogue

    “Take a look at every piece of dialogue and ask yourself, does this sound like this one specific character speaking? Or could any other character speak this line? If somebody else could speak the line, there’s probably something wrong with it, unless it’s a really functional line like ‘yes’ or something like that.”

“Just try different things when you’re rewriting. … Make every line be as good as it can be,” Brown finished.


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