I got this question recently:

“I have sent my scripts to script doctors and find in many cases their ideas hurt my story. In one case I made it to the finals in a script contest, sent it to a
script doctor and the next time around it never placed. Where can I go for help on syntax, grammar and spelling issues without having someone want to rewrite my story with their ideas?”

I recommend both Script Doctor Eric and Script Quack use coupon “sellingyourscreenplay” (without the quotes) for a $25 discount. I’ve personally gotten notes from both of these services and they offer great value.

I think the key is to be up front with them and tell them you don’t want story notes, just help on syntax, grammar, and spelling.

Now with that said, I think you’d be missing an opportunity by not at least listening to what these script doctors have to say. All screen writers must be open to changing their scripts and doing rewrites. The key is to listen to the feedback and decide for yourself if it’s worth implementing. Maybe their idea isn’t quite right but it spurs other ideas that might work well. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice writing her first script, you need to build up a pool of industry people who will give you notes on your script so you can make your script better. These script doctors are a great resource especially if you don’t know a lot of people in the business who will read your material. The key is to listen to the notes you’re getting and try and see if there are any common threads. Are people all telling your the same thing? But you should never blindly implement notes no matter who they come from, unless they’re paying you to do so, in which case you sometimes have to just suck it up and do what ever it is they ask ’cause they’re paying the bill.

To find out more about what I think of screenplay consultants check out this post: Script Consultants

6 thoughts on “Using a script doctor to help edit my script”
  1. For screenwriters who want only copyediting and proofreading, but not script doctoring, I offer my services. I will correct only errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting. I have 17 years experience as a professional copyeditor, including 10 years as a senior production editor at Simon & Schuster. My screenwriter clients’ scripts have placed in competitions. My website will be coming soon!

  2. I think an important observation missing from this is post is remembering that screenplay competitions are highly subjective. One script can make it so far one year, and not the next (and vice versa) – even if it’s the same script. Just read the Nicholl FAQ page and you’ll see evidence of that.

  3. I am a new writer and I have recently gotten a manager, should I stop sending out letters to production companies trying to get a sale or should I let my manager handle some of that, and if I did get a production company to look at one of my projects, do I still have to pay my manager if I got the sale on my own.

    1. Yes, you should always be trying to sell your scripts yourself and should never just expect that your agent and/or manager will find your work or sell your material. Selling is always part of the job no matter what level you’re at if you expect to have some longevity in this business.

      Yes, you will have to pay your manager even if you are the one who gets the lead, submits the script, and sells your own material. A manager typically helps with your script development and guides your career so it doesn’t matter who sells the script, they still get their 15% (10% for agents).

      I think you should sit down with your agent and discuss all of this and figure out exactly what you both expect from the relationship.

Comments are closed.