Let’s take a look at how to be a screenwriter. We’re going to cover the basics of what screenwriting is and how you can become a screenwriter, if that’s the path for you.
Screenwriting is essentially an activity which involves crafting a script with good storytelling. It is a noble freelance profession which does not necessarily require any education or special training, but just the ability to coin entertaining, educative or informative stories.
Most scriptwriters begin their writing careers on speculations and write without being employed by a particular studio. If the script is sold, it is termed as a ‘spec script.’
There are lots of aspiring writers who are making a serious attempt to join the movie industry, but it often takes a longer period of struggle for perfection before they get through.
Nevertheless, writing a script for a movie is fun and highly rewarding. If you are really determined to write screenplays, then you need to put in extra effort in creating a brilliant script. You just need to begin with having adequate knowledge of script writing, work your way into being popular and have the hardheadedness for controlling rejection.
This article offers tips and the right steps on how to be a screenwriter and how you can become a successful in the film industry as a writer of films.
How to be a Screenwriter – Steps to Becoming A Screenwriter
Let’s look at the many options you have when learning how to be a screen writer.
1. Enroll Yourself in a Screenwriting Training
Getting trained in the art of screenwriting can be a surefire way to hone your skills. Regardless of whether you have mastered the required formatting, you will need to concentrate on making your script look very professional.
If you can, enroll for training in a reputable film institute so that you can be intellectually empowered to create stunning screenplays with the assistance of other professional writers.
And it’s not just about the raw technicals of learning appropriate screenplay formatting. Good screenwriting classes will teach you the art and philosophy behind storytelling that moves people.
2. Join A Writing Group
Most aspiring writers shy away from this idea but joining a writers’ group is a smart step to improve yourself as a writer. Join a small group of 5 to 10 smart screenwriters who can strongly criticize your work and offer you amazing ideas.
Finding the right group is certainly not an easy task. Nevertheless, do not settle for a group where members fluff and argue all day. So, make a thorough search till you find the right group.
3. Watch Lots of Great Movies
Watching movies will make you conversant with the way screenwriters manage the pace of the movie and how they handle techniques like intonation.
Please note that scripts are very much different from academic writing and novels.
Therefore, you need to know more about different genres that fit each script and characters within the story. Also, getting to know several movie producers in order to know who to work with can be a fantastic technique if you have access to them.
4. Write A Lot and Set Personal Goals
There is a stated rule for an individual who wants to master anything to devote 10,000 hours of practice in that field so as to become perfect.
If you are really determined to be a successful screenwriter, you need to master the art of writing on a regular basis. This activity will help you to grow faster and more efficient in your craft. And will help instructing you in how to learn how to edit, cut and build a character.
Giving yourself to constant writing exposes your inner strength and ability to produce more exciting stories. This, of course, helps you get better as a screenwriter.
5. Creatively Evoke Emotions in The Reader
It is often difficult to believe that the most important part of any screenplay, and explained in why people read novels or see movies, is missing from the scripts of most aspiring writers. The missing ingredient is, essentially, the experience of emotions.
For a screenplay to be powerful and impacting, it needs to emotionally connect with the reader and the movie-going audience.
As a writer, whenever you’re outlining the story within your screenplay, try to be conscious of not wanting to lose your audience at any time.
Remember, no reader would want to pay for a boring and uninteresting script. Neither will they recommend it to anyone.
6. Go into Screenwriting Contests
Get yourself into a series of screenwriting contests. It’s a known fact that contests are organized every year, during annual film festivals.
It is a unique opportunity to personally assess your writing ability. And, secondly, showcase your craft in order to gain potential representation in the form of agents, managers, etc.
Many popular screenwriters found a way to get their careers started through screenwriting competitions.
Challenges in Scriptwriting and Possible Solutions
Let’s change pace and look at a few challenges that you might have on your journey to becoming a screenwriter.
1. Getting the Formatting Right
Most times, learning the right format for a catchy screenplay is difficult to come by, even though it is an integral part of the screenwriting process. And, let’s be honest, proper screenwriting formatting can be pretty dry.
Most aspiring writers, especially those without any training go through this challenge and thus commit an error. The way to move forward here is to read other screenplays to understand the required standard and what it looks like on the page.
2. Having the Patience to Plan
Lack of patience has killed the creativity in many a writers. Although having a long-term plan is no fun thing, it is, however, the ideal thing to do when it comes to creating a story.
Patience is really golden because when things are carefully planned and mapped out, your story flows and, when the time comes, everything is so much easier to write. In fact, this is a classic way to avoid writer’s block and all the negativity associated with that.
3. Sharing Your Writing Time with A Day Job
It is quite challenging if you have a separate job and want to effectively write scripts. It’s just too easy to get caught up with work responsibilities and then push your writing task to the side, like some discarded half-eaten sandwich.
Even if you allocate a specific time to write every day, it will be very difficult to connect with your storytelling. Well, it’s highly advised that you pen down ideas and tips for your script while you carry out your normal pay work.
This can be the workaround that every busy person is looking for!
4. The Difficulty in Building Real Characters
It is a normal challenge for aspiring writers to struggle to make characters look real. Most of them struggle to bring out characters that describe feelings and action that makes a unique screenplay. They often find it hard to paint a picture of what a character really is.
Well, to overcome this challenge, be sensitive to activities in everyday life and ask questions about how people react to those events. This can give you a clue as to how to create a clear, concise picture of every character you create in your screenplay.
How to be a Screenwriter – Conclusion
There is no avoiding the fact that becoming a successful screenwriter is difficult. Yet, people are succeeding every day in this field and you can join them if you put in the work, get the required help where needed and push through towards your goals.
Aim for getting your first screenplay written and then take it from there. And, remember, your first script will probably be terrible. It’s a work in progress and you’ll get better the more you write.
I have carefully listed steps you can take to become a celebrated screenwriter. It now behooves you to take up the challenge and become a fantastic screenwriter.
What screenwriting tips did we miss? Let us know in the comments section underneath this post.
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