Many people dream of becoming successful screen writers, but, unfortunately, only few take the necessary steps to make their dreams come true. Perhaps it would be easier to become a writer if people saw this profession as a craft and not only as a way to make more money. If you think you are talented and you are willing to work hard to achieve your goals, here are a few tips that might help you become a successful screen writer:
Education is essential
Even if you have an innate tallent for writing, that doesn’t mean education and research are optional. It is highly recommendable to invest in some great books on screen writing. Here are some examples: "Story Structure" by Robert McKee, The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra, "Screenplay" by Syd Field, "Screenwriters Problem Solver", also by Syd Field, The 21st Century Screenplay by Linda Aronson, The Nutshell Technique by Jill Chamberlain, On Writing by Stephen King.
These books explain things in a clear, practical manner and will give you a better understanding of any given area of screenwriting.
Of course, this list is open because there are so many interesting books for aspiring talents.
Reading lots of screenplays is crucial for inspiration
No one can become a great screen writer overnight. It takes inspiration, courage and a lot of hard work. And you must read as many sample scripts as you can lay your hands on. If you don’t know where to find scripts, there are a lot of websites where you can find screenplays of all kinds and genres: IMSDB, Go Into the Story, Simply Scripts, Awesome Film. Of course, there are plenty of other online platforms where you can find scripts to read.
After reading lots of scripts, you will become familiar with the screen writing fundamentals : the rules of the screen plays, the formatting, the binding. But if you want to learn from the best and become a professional writer, you can subscribe to a screen writing online course.
Go to classes or subscribe to online education webinars
Watching online classes can help you discover everything about screen writing, from character development to story board. Opt for an intensive course which covers everything about screenwriting and writing in general and look for names of well known writers which might guide you.
Start writing and don’t give up even after the first attempts
After you have read hundreds of scripts and took classes, it is high time you wrote your first screenplay. Don’t be afraid of failure, just write it down, read it and rewrite it at least five times, then ask for other people’s opinion on your writing and take notes. If you are really confident, you can even submit that script to five of the top screenwriting contests. In case you have enrolled for a professional writing course, you will certainly get a detailed feedback from your professor. Remember: practice makes perfect. Always continue to write, even if you didn’t do a great job from the very beginning. Don’t forgetthat many Hollywood stars struggled for years before making it big.
Never underestimate the power of networking
Believe it or not, becoming a great screen writer is not only about being an exceptional writer. It is also about having great social skills, because one day, your script should get to a big agent, producer, or studio executive. And you are the one who will do the promotion work.
Today, there are many entertainment-related networking events a screenwriter should attend to meet influencial industry professionals. When your screenplay arrives into the right hands, don’t be shy, be confident and proud of your work.
If you follow the steps above, you might stand a chance of becoming a good screen writer. Writing is a craft that must be learned in order to be fully mastered. Good luck!