I got this questions recently:

“I’ve written 20 pages of a screenplay. Would someone accept just twenty pages? I just want someone to read what I’ve got and tell me if I have an idea, or if my concept is garbage. If it’s trash, I want to bag it so I can start thinking of something new rather than waste my time on a bad idea.”

You’ve got to finish your script before you can do anything. “Great ideas” are literally dime a dozen so it really does not matter if your concept is any good at this stage. What is worth gold in Hollywood is a solid idea that’s well executed. The only way to know if a script is well executed is to write a complete draft. If you keep jumping from projects to projects before finishing one you’ll end up with lots of unfinished projects. So my advice it to find an idea that you’re passionate about and write a complete draft. Then once you’re done with that draft find another idea your’re passionate about and write a complete draft of that, too. If you have passion for your story then it’s an idea worth writing, don’t worry about what other people say. The main point to all this writing is to get better at your craft. It’s unlikely that you’re first script (or second or third) is going to be well executed so it honestly doesn’t matter if the idea is any good either. Just put in the time and do the work and write your ideas into complete scripts.

I can tell you this about your idea, if it’s not worth it to you to write the entire screenplay, then it’s probably not an idea worth pursing. You don’t need an expert or industry insider to tell you that.

8 thoughts on “Can you evaluate the first 20 pages of my screenplay?”
  1. I would be willing to review your screenplay for you. I’ve written and rewrote a screenplay I’ve been working on for over a year now. I think I can help you out.

  2. What Ashley said on alll counts is absolutely right. Execution is key. Finish the screenplay and do a rewrite. Maybe in the rewrite you will find what part of your idea you’re having trouble with. If you get frustrated with the rewrite, then jump to another idea and come back to it later. I have found that jumping from project to project leaves plenty of unfinished scripts like he said and I woudn’t recommend it.

    I often feel like you and don’t want to get started with an idea unless I know that it would be sold or will get me some kind of response. Once again Ashley is right. A lot of stories aren’t for everyone, but your story (your idea) if well executed, might strike the heart of a producer or production company and land you a foot in the door.

    You got this far, keep going and with work and practice, you’ll be right where you want to be..

    Good Luck,


  3. I disagree on the advice against working one project as well as another. Many novelists have known to do this. Some even go so far as to create one writing room for one book and another room for the other. And so the same can be said for a screenplay.

    1. I don’t disagree with you. However it’s a fine line between working on several projects at once and never finishing any projects. I once went to a screen writing class at UCLA extension and the professor went around the room and asked people why they were there. There was about 30 people in the room and every one of them except me and one other guy said they were there because they had one (or more) unfinished scripts and they wanted some help finishing it. They just couldn’t complete the task. So be careful that you’re not one of those people. The worst screenplay ever written is a lot better than the greatest screenplay never written.

  4. It would be hard to start a screenplay not knowing where it’s going, but there is a service called “the first 10 pages” (or maybe it’s” the first 20 pages”) that you can send to and they’ll let you know if they want to read more. That would be some kind of “evaluation”.

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