Writing Scripts Properly
Is becoming a script writer a realistic way to break into the entertainment business? It could be, if you go about it correctly. Writing scripts is not as easy as it might seem, and getting paid for it is even more challenging, but it surely can be done.
Before launching a job writing scripts for Hollywood, it definitely helps to have an understanding of what you want out of your writing job. If you see writing scripts as a means to have your foot in the door to be able to become an actor or professional performer, you’re likely on the wrong path. Writing scripts very rarely ever ends in job in front of the camera. Even if you’re dreaming about a job as a director or producer, script writing probably isn’t your ideal way in. A job as a production assistant is a better way to learn the basics of movie or TV production. After that you can work your way up the ladder to the position you have always wanted.
On the other hand, if you find writing scripts skillfully as an end in itself – if that’s the career you want for yourself – then the best way to begin with is by writing. First of all, just before writing any scripts, you need to familiarize yourself with the format of the media or genres you prefer to work in. Script writing for a half-hour TV sitcom is rather dissimilar to writing scripts for feature length motion pictures. There are plenty of books on the market about script format as well as story structure which can teach you the correct way to approach the kind of script you intend to write.
Be aware, though: Writing scripts isn’t a magic bullet. The majority of literary agents, producers, and studios do not take cold submissions. That means that they will not even check out a script that you give them, unless of course it has been recommended by a person they know. And even if your script gets read and liked by the right people, that is not even close to an assurance that anyone will pay you for it. It is good to write several high quality scripts and have them in your back pocket to prove your writing chops, but don’t assume that you will get paid for writing scripts on specification in that way.
Many individuals aim for a job in writing. All things considered, writing careers allow for creativity and self expression, and give you opportunities to research and write about things that appeal to your interest. Many individuals also love the idea of the versatility that comes along with a writing job. Instead, what you should wish for is a job re-writing an existing script, or adapting a property just like a novel or comic book. If your writing shines and an agent is happy to represent you, eventually you may get employed to accomplish a writing or revising job for a producer or even studio. And then writing scripts will not just be your dream, it will be your job.