I have many secret lives. I will reveal one of them to you now: For the past 15 years I have been a well-paid Script Doctor for select Hollywood and New York writers, producers and independent production companies.

The secret to being a good Script Doctor, and to getting hired again and again, is keeping your mouth shut. You can be a good Script Doctor if, you too, choose significance over fame, but many who aspire to work the Script Doctor role are those who choose the opposite. They prefer to be well-known than to live a life of anonymous magnitude.

I have no desire to be known for the scripts I doctor or to be openly adored by more than a secret few who know the work I do in re-structuring scripts, punching up jokes and making dialogue work better. Plays, screenplays and television dramas are all about building the right structure. Once you have the right foundation, the conflict and irrevocable change create the magic for you. Being well-trained is the key to conjuring the magic.

My Master of Fine Arts degree is from Columbia University in the City of New York. I learned, and still learn, the laws of dramatic structure at the knee of Dr. Howard Stein. I was well-trained. I get asked every day to work on scripts but I only take on projects I know I can make better. I don’t take a job to fix a hopeless script just for the money anymore because that road is paved in burnout. Professional writers don’t get in touch with me unless they want me to say “yes” to their request.

I never have to argue with a pro over my quoted price. Amateur writers, however, always want to quiz me about my connections, my credits and my experiences and why I cost so much. I direct all inquiries of that nature to The David W. Boles Entrepot where everything they need to know about me in order to make a decision on hiring me is there in public.

No matter how much the amateurs pester, beg or insult me, I always refuse to name names or identify writers or producers or production houses who have hired me because to do that, to break the covenant of the artistic process, is to betray The Script Doctor Oath: First Do No Harm, Make the Work Better, Become a Grave after.

UPDATE: November 28, 2005 I am now your Script Professor and be certain to visit me online!

9 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’m an editor in magazine and news media, and I am interested in becoming a script doctor myself. How does one go about it? Short of simply advertising, I mean. Are there connections to establish other than simply with the writer? Do you have suggestions for calculating a pay rate? I don’t want to price myself out, but as an editor w/ years of experience I’m not exactly new to this, either. Any advice you have would be helpful.

  2. Well, ami, the first thing you need is years of work writing scripts after years of training in dramatic theory and structure.
    With that core beneath you, you will then begin to get inquiries from friends and clients and you’re off and running.