Know Where You Are

You must keep track of where you are in the script as it unfolds. For the sake of drama, you must be in the moment, but it is also vital to be aware of what lies ahead and, especially, to be mindful of what has come before. (See “Redundancy and Reiteration.”)

If you’re having trouble understanding what’s going on in the sentence, delineate who or what is acting (the subject), what the action is (the verb), who or what is the object of the action (direct object), and where the action is going (prepositional phrases). Look ahead, but you must also remember what nouns were established earlier in the script, as they will now be redundant.

Key Reminder: Never throw away an ending except in a colloquial phrase, passive voice, or a redundancy.