A Reader is that person whom producers, agents, screenplay contests, and the like use as their first line of defense.
That makes the reader the first hurdle the writer has to jump in order to get his/her screenplay into the hands of someone who could give the project a green light or place as a contest finalist/winner.
Or, depending on the reader’s job, suggest the writer be hired for a specific writing job that needs to be filled.
So what does a reader/analyst, like me, look for?
- Focused story structure.
- Subtlety to the setups.
- Believable and satisfying payoffs that still somehow offer a surprise.
- A plot twist (or two) that is unexpected, or surprising, or is a fresh take on an old idea.
- A story that is written visually so the reader can “see” it play out in his/her mind’s eye as he/she reads.
- In-depth, many faceted characters.
- Believable character arcs.
- Believable and varied emotions in the characters.
- Appealing dialog, some of which is unforgettable.
- A story that is so well written that it makes us laugh out loud, or sob as we reach for tissues, or sit on the edge of our seats tension-filled with our palms sweating, or cringe in horror, our skin crawling, just by reading the words written on the pages.