Recently, my Intermediate class students all had a difficult workshop session. Most of the comments on all of their scripts were not positive. The comments were constructive to be sure but even constructive criticism is hard to take. It still means "this isn't working." I wrote them an open letter that then became this article. I've expanded it a bit from the original form.
There's a war going on inside you.
Your head and fingers are in constant battle. What you see with your mind's eye about your script never ends up to be what actually gets to your fingers. Why is that? I blame...uh, Canada (that's from the movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" and I'm just kidding so relax.)
Here's the problem; it's too easy to write that first flush of great scenes that you see so clearly when that concept comes to you. After that it's nearly impossible to clearly see the ramifications of that work. You think you know the story but unless you've carefully charted out each moment, sh*t happens.
Even if you've carefully charted out your script you take side trips; a character inserts himself or herself demanding more attention than you had intended. Maybe a piece of information comes to you or you have to change something that you thought worked.
Also, each day you're a different person and your mood, attitudes, sense of life changes. If you're doing the work properly, you are writing from your subconscious mind and that changes - a lot - as you process each and every moment of your life.
A script seems simple but is maddeningly complex.
Most of the time, what you have in your head is not what ends up on the page.