February 2021

The film and television industries may not agree on many things, but one subject they agree on, is that success of movies or TV series is first and foremost based on a good story.

The way a story is shaping to attract viewers is mainly the responsibility of the Screenwriter.

Aspiring Screenwriters are looking up to professionals who have triggered their interest in the job, and while it is good to ambition becoming the next Quentin Tarantino or Lee Daniels, it may happen only if you have a set of skills and talent allowing your script to be considered.

No one becomes a Screenwriter because they do not know what else to do. You need a serious dose of passion. Writing is artistic in nature and like any other artistic activities, they are driven by passion. Not only in writing stories, the screenwriter needs an understanding on how movies are made.

Writing is one thing, reading is an entirely different one. Getting inspired to write good stories and give them rhythm goes through reading scripts of films or shows you have enjoyed and noted the excellence in the dialogues and sequences. Reading scripts of different genres is a good start to be inspired and use the best practices from others.

Being open to criticism and show flexibility to adjust the dialogues during a specific scene when required is another skill. leave the ego at home when discussing your script.

The field is highly competitive. Rarely a first script as good as the story may be, will be retained with the first appointments to introduce it. Persistence is key to a career as a Screenwriter. The writer will face obstacles, the trends with the ever changing landscape of what's popular from what is no longer in. You cannot get discouraged, you may get one positive answer for 50 negative ones. That is all it takes.

Working under pressure is another important skill. If you are part of a writing team for a TV series, deadlines are important to respect. You need to know how to work and provide quality screenwriting under pressure. It is also part of a "reputation building" for future gigs.

Another skill is how to overcome the fear of the "blank page". You started with a great introduction, got inspired but suddenly are blocked with what's next?

Screenwriters are never providing a first draft for consideration. They are writing and rewriting to achieve what is the perfect story imagined. If you are blocked, keep writing even if you know it is unlikely to be final. new ideas will kick-in as you go. You will then rewrite sequences you are unhappy with. Remember, the screenplay used by filmmakers are never the first draft.

To have a chance for your script to be read and considered, you need to be socially involved. Networking is key, it is the best way to get your script to the people who can make a difference and avoid the "gate keepers" who will filter. What you know is important, who you know is equally important. Networking will take a big chunk of your schedule.

Let's be real. Leading a career as a Screenwriter is not easy. Courage couple with persistence are indispensable for success.

Multiple tools are now available to help Screenwriters. Dedicated software, allowing to format and organize the writing process, there are as well the "Script Review Services". Professional will give feedback on your writing and provide additional advices. It could be costly but helpful.