I just have a question (or a few questions) about drafts. How many drafts do you normally do? How much do you change from one draft to the next? Is it possible to be 100% happy with a first draft and leave it with that? Thanks.

–Simon A.

Depending on your definition of a "draft," which I’m going to define as a revision that changes more than five percent of the script, I would say most of my projects that have made it to screen went through at least twelve drafts. Some of these went through massive overhauls, like throwing out 70+ pages, while others were much more focused, like changing a villain’s motivation or clarifying a character’s backstory.

That said, my first drafts tend to feel very much like the final movie that gets made. Even if a fair amount does end up getting changed before hitting the cameras, I always make sure the first draft I show people could actually be shot. Anything less than that – i.e. a rough draft – should be for your eyes only.