Habits of a Successful Screenwriter

Habits of a Successful Screenwriter

Habits of a Successful Screenwriter

Have you decided to become a screenwriter and are trying to work for it? Well, screenwriting goes hand in hand with life, it is essential to adapt a lifestyle that enables creativity.

By Jen B

Have you decided to become a screenwriter and are trying to work for it? Well, screenwriting goes hand in hand with life, it is essential to adapt a lifestyle that enables creativity. The key components of the entire process are consistently & constructively for which an overall creative, productive lifestyle should be adopted. If you are aiming to become a successful screenplay writer then here is a list of habits that can help you accomplish your goal!

Storyboard and camera in sepia

Learning never stops:
Even if you have an idea and you are sure about what you should be doing, still it is quintessential to know that learning is a process that does not stop. If you ever feel like you need to grow in screenwriting or you could use some help from experts, do not hesitate to join screenwriting workshops or screenwriting fellowships. These opportunities are not only good for learning but also for networking. Another good medium for learning is watching the content that is already available. For example; drama series, movies, short films etc. Taking an inspiration from existing content can be a good idea because that is a polished project. Watch them to learn and write better but DO NOT COPY!

Write on the go:
Writing is a consistent process. There is no limit to when and where you will think of an idea for the next scene or think of a screenplay dialogue. Hence, it is essential to always keep a writing application or a draft app in your mobile (that’s an idea for kind of people who are extremely addicted to their phones! You should be able to write down immediately. Engaging yourself in day dreaming (sometimes) can help as well. Similarly, thinking about your plot in your daily commute or free time can help you generate brilliant ideas!

Be true to yourself:
While there may always be good content that is different from yours and a demand in the industry that does not coincide with your ideas, your work should remain true to yourself. It is important to be aware of the trends when specially you are aiming for selling your screenplay but if your work does not speak to you then maybe you do not care about it either. Write what you think is important.

Streamline your process:
It is a known fact that screenwriting should be done step by step. From the idea to outline to writing the screenplay everything. Hence, once you are done with finding your idea, you should write an outline or screenplay treatment to streamline your thoughts before they get on paper as scenes. Once you have an idea what goes into each scene you can freely write that in a scriptwriting software.

Rewrite whenever necessary:
Revising and rewriting is an essential part of screenwriting. No first draft can be perfect but there is a way to make it near perfect. While you are writing your first draft, frequently visit your previously written pages or it’s better that when you are about to write a new page, read all the ones written before. If you keep this habit from the first page, you will never feel it as a tedious work. This is how you will keep improving what you have already written.

Vintage red typewriter with blank paper on wooden desk

Be comfortable in your writing zone:
Whether it be a corner of your house or a small office in a co working space, be sure that you are comfortable in your writing space. Having a fixed writing zone is crucial to the writing process. It being comfortable for you and away from distractions is even more important. The writing space should get you to work consistently and with constant focus hence, there is no room for distractions there. Equally an uncomfortable writing space, like a non-sound proof cabin in a co working space can make you lose all your focus and motivation for the day.

Do not disclose you work before fully written:
Your work should not be roaming around with people before you have completed it. Feedback is important but a feedback taken before you even completed a script can astray you and you may end up scrapping everything you had thought this story would be. Complete your script, write the best version of it that you can. Then, ask someone to give you feedback. This way it is also easy for the reader to give you feedback over the entire product rather than one particular segment. You will get better, constructive feedback. Till the completion, trust your work. Write it with the flow and idea you have initially planned. Later ask someone to assess the complete product.

Do all pending work before writing:
Your mind should be completely focused while writing. One such way to maintain the focus is to have no pending work that may bother the writer at the back of their mind. Hence, you should get all pending work finished before you embark on writing the script. If you have any calls to do or notifications to see, do that before you start writing. After you are done, turn your phone on silent so that you are not distracted by the notification sound. If you want to do some home chores, get them done before writing. You should not be writing in a rush or keep thinking that you have work to do, while writing.Pending Work

Take a break:
Writing is a hectic and time-consuming work. It maybe a huge pressure to write about what you truly believe in and wanting that to be perfect. Remember there is always a room for an improvement in your story. When you have done the huge task of writing the first draft, give yourself a pat at the back. It is time to rejuvenate and relax. Take a small break from your hectic work. After you are done with that, get back to reading your script from the beginning. This time you will be revising it with a fresh mind and get your second draft written.

Through these writing habits and activities, all the aspiring writers can make themselves constantly productive in order to churn out the best creative material. Follow these simple habits to achieve your dream of being a successful screenwriter.

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