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Becoming a screen writer

Updated on September 20, 2013

Heart of entertainment

Screen writers are the heart of entertainment. They’re the ones who write the ideas for the movies, sitcoms, comics and even video games. They get to work with very interesting and creative people. To become a screen writer you really don't need to an education, just the ability to tell a good story. Starting off as a screen writer, you won't get paid at first, just see it as training, but with time you will get paid and start to see the rewards for your efforts. To become a screen writer you'll need to write, take notes, and get feedback and most importantly network.

The writing process

There is a process that a screenwriter would have to go through when writing a script. For the script to hit the big screen, it has to go through these stages:

Developing an interesting story

In this process the writer would play the what-if game you use to play when you were little. Have you ever notice in some movie trailers the narrator would say "What if blah, blah, blah" or he would say " In a world where blah, blah, blah. Each character they make has a background story. The background story would explain why they are the way they are, whether they have a hard time opening up or why they are so cranky. The writer knows everything about the characters as if it was their best friend. By developing the characters the storyline begins to grow.


When the writer pitches their story they tell it with a lot of enthusiasm in 5 to 10 minutes. They can't forget any of the important parts. Before you pitch your script to an agent, producer or a director it would be a good idea to pitch your screen play to your friend, family, and colleague. The way you'll now if you need to change anything.


If the pitch goes well then the screen play then goes to the treatment process. This phrase includes a five to ten page story, which is narrated in a way that the reader feels as if he or she is watching the story unfold.


If the reader is still interested then a script is requested. There is no guarantee the script will be produced. If the script is optioned then the party interested will receive a fee stating the amount of time to find financial baking, after which rights revert back to the screenwriter, providing the original party does not renew their option.


Once the project is going, there may be countless rewrites. This may include new characters new plots or subplots. They can throw out scene and add new ones at the same time. Executive producers normally demand these changes up front. The director can make adjustments on the spot; they can also add new writing, meaning you may end up sharing the credit.

What are you writing?

So now that you know the writing process the next question is; what are you going to write about? You can write a drama, a comedy, a horror film, adventure movie, or a romantic movie. You can get creative and combine two of the genres together for example, a romantic comedy. Each genre is filled with its own elements, so it’s important to know these rules.

· Horror movie- A great horror movie has a hero/heroine and an even great villain (every movie needs a villain). It needs to have suspense, anticipation, and surprise around the corner. It has moments where you think it’s over for our hero then at the last second he turns it all around. Last, but not least a great horror movie needs to have a great final showdown with the villain.

· Drama- A good drama movie will have the audience reflecting upon the situation. In other words the audience has to be able to put themselves in the main characters shoes. It is filled with emotions. It is very important to set the mood in the beginning; for example, maybe the husband is cheating on the wife, or it can be a love triangle and the girl has to choose between the popular jerk and the quiet nerd (we all know who she’s going to choose).

· Comedy- You going to need comedians for a good comedy (it’s called a comedy movie for a reason). The plot doesn’t have to be so serious; it is most of the time a light situation, such as raising money for rent money, taking a road trip, or throwing a party while your parents are away. It is filled with jokes and funny gags back to back. The most important element to a good comedy is the timing on the joke. Bad timing can cause the joke to be stale or misunderstood.

· Adventure- You will need to have a cause, for example you need to able to let the audience know why the hero is going on this quest. It will need to have a villain who is trying to stop the young hero at every turn. This will build the anticipation will the hero finally meets the villain.

So whatever it is you are planning to write about keep these tips in mind the next time you begin to write. Most importantly get your work at there as much as possible. GOOD LUCK!


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      To be a storyteller in a reel world can be tedious. There are lots of competition, but positivity is the name of the game. If I'm to be one, I'll keep in mind what you have shared here.

      You write well!