ON LOCATION, November 14 2015: Six Powerful Secrets for a Professional Rewrite.


Six Powerful Secrets for a Professional Rewrite.

Most professional Screenwriters will do anywhere from 10 to 20 rewrites for a feature film. That doesn’t include Producers’ notes. The rewrites are done prior TO any marketing by the writer. The idea is to have a script the BEST it can be before showing it to Producers.

For this episode of Wayne’s Movie World I will list the 6 secrets and elaborate on one or two in each upcoming ON LOCATION episodes. Here are the secrets for a professional rewrite.

  1. Story
  2. Character Desire and Need
  3. Situations and Scenes Internal and external
  4. Action Place Holder vs. Subtext
  5. Dialogue Subtext Marker. Moral Argument. Theme
  6. Descriptors/Action Lines

Your first allegiance is to STORY.  The story must be working.

The elements that make up a film story are:

Concept. Structure. Plot. Genre.

Your ‘big movie idea’ (concept) must be unique with a strong ‘hook’ and can be said in one sentence whereby a Producer can see the whole movie.

Example: Jurassic Park is open again – Jurassic World.

KEY: Your concept must be MARKETABLE


There are many structures a writer can employ to tell a film story

For instance:

Nine Beat Structure in Three Acts

15 Beat Structure in Three or Four Acts.

7 beat Classic Structure with no Act separation.

Most often the 9 beat 3 Act structure is an excellent form for writers who are just starting out.


Dramatic plots are too numerous to mention here. But, these are a few.

“The Revenge Plot” “The Education Plot” “The Murder Plot” “Family Drama Plot”


There are 3 essential Comedy Plots: Fish out of Water. (Sister Act) Hilarious Purpose. (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective). Incongruent Pairing (48 Hours)


You’ll find there are four essential Subtext Plots.

Dramatic Irony Plot. (Shakespeare in Love) Layered Subtext Plot. (Sixth Sense) Scheme and Investigation. (Basic Instinct) Someone Who Hides Who They Are. (Peggy Sue Got Married)(Pump Up the Volume)

Hey, thanks for checking out this episode of ON-LOCATION. Please be sure to visit the rest of the site and feel free to email if you have any questions. No  cost or obligation.

NEXT TIME 0N LOCATION: Powerful Rewrite Secrets Two and Three