Content Vs Technicalities

Honestly, I'm really glad you asked this question, because I just spent a week reading original pilots, and a handful of them suffered from the same language issues as your posts. Nothing makes me happier than finding a writer with a smart, original voice, so to start with, I made a rule that I wasn't going to hold it against writers if they had typos or grammatical errors.

But then I discovered that no matter how I tried not to care, at a certain point, sloppy language actually kept me from understanding what the script was trying to say. Above, for example, you call /u/wrytagain "a prink."

If this were dialogue in a script I was reading, I would be really stuck. Because my first guess is that the fictional version of you meant to say "prick," which tells me that you're a pretty serious person who's offended by people bringing up trifling, minor concerns as if they were a big deal. That's important information for me to understand fictional you's motivations as I keep reading the script.

But what if you meant to say "pinko"? Then I'd know that the fictional version of you is a very patriotic American, who sees people who disagree with him/her as morally wrong and foolishly aligned with a broken, self-indulgent political system. Again, very different from the earlier interpretation, and I really should know which version is the protagonist of this fictional script.

Or then again, what if you're actually setting up some kind of Clockwork Orange alternate vocabulary, and "prink" is a new term entirely of your own crafting and I totally miss that your script is set in an alternate reality?

Because my honest assumption, as a reader, is that it MUST be a typo. The other sentences contain errors that tell me I should assume that things I don't understand are mistakes, and I should try to decode the mistakes, instead of being open to the possibility that you're doing something bold and innovative.

And all the energy I'm using to figure out what you meant distracts me from what you, the writer, really want me to pay attention to: What this story is about, who the main character is and why I care about his or her goals.

With the end result that ultimately, I'm not really invested in your script because it was literally too hard to read, in the same way that it can be hard to read a letter that goes through the wash in the pocket of your jeans. Afterwards, you can see that it clearly says something, but what exactly is physically hard to discern.

Put it another way: If you call someone, and the connection is really bad, do you get angry at the person on the other end of the line, as they're saying "What? I can't... you're... dropping... Can... repeat...that?" No, of course not. You realize the connection is bad, you hang up and you call back when you have a better signal.

Nobody is angry at you because your grammar isn't perfect, they're just asking you to hang up and call back with a better signal, which in this case means working with a proofreader to make sure your writing can be clearly understood. Tons of writers do this. Hell, I used to work as a professional proofreader and I have my colleagues read my scripts because I can't see my own g.d. typos.

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