Debunking Screenwriting Myths, Part VIII – SHORTCUTS

no-shortcutIn this microwave world of instant gratification, text messaging, IM’s and 24-hour instant news cycles, the craft and business of screenwriting needs to catch up. Many writers are hesitant and fearful of starting their journey, knowing that there is no guarantee of success at the end of that journey, and it will probably result in years (not weeks or months) of time and dedication to the craft.

Anything worth doing and worth doing well is going to take a major investment of time and resources; of that, there is no question.

These are but a few points of helpful advice that The Script Mentor has learned and developed along the way that might — just might — help save YOU a significant amount of that time and those resources.

These points are in no particular order:

1) You must write something worthy of being purchased, or write with a fresh voice or style worthy of getting paid. This means that it is unique, fresh, perfectly formatted, grammatically and punctually correct, exciting and appealing to the masses.

2) You must write a perfectly constructed logline that highlights all of the elements, including the “hook”- the one element that separates your story from all others in that genre.

3) You must prepare an excellent query letter, preferably in the format that is now considered the best for a query letter (from recent polling data).

4) You need to develop a networking and marketing strategy and stick to it, spending a set amount of time each day to nurturing it, and as much time as your spend writing. You should do both concurrently.

5) You should explore multiples avenues for marketing and/or breaking in. This includes contests, offering assistance, writing assignments, adapting source materials, etc.

6) You must understand that there are many ways to achieve your goal (whatever goal that may be), and that your avenue to success is as different as there are goals. In other words, someone wanting to work as a script reader may have a different tact than someone wanting to sell spec scripts for a living.

7) You should understand that because one person wrote a script this way, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Writing spec scripts are much different than the way QT or Cameron write theirs.

8) You need to develop your three completely separate support systems we like to call our “cheers”, “peers”, and “rocketeers”, and build that circle of trust around you.

9) People may offer constructive criticism and sound advice to your writing, but the vision is yours. Stick to the vision.

10) You have to be someone that others WANT to work with. Be polite and professional, and people will know you as such.

If you want the complete list of target points developed by The Script Mentor, please contact and join The Script Mentor program today, and get your writing career off on the right track.


2 thoughts on “Debunking Screenwriting Myths, Part VIII – SHORTCUTS

  1. Marc Johnson

    I love these articles, thank you again. But I wonder, where would one get ‘recent polling data’ regarding the query letter format if they are just starting out? There are so many examples out here in cyber space, it’s hard to know which is the right one.

    1. thescriptmentor Post author

      That information would be developed through networking. As it stands now, very few people are privvy to that information, so very few would even know about it. Fortunately, you have networked with one of those lucky few. There is still some debate as to the format’s effectiveness; the die-hard old-schoolers refuse to acknowledge anything new. But I can tell you from personal experience, the numbers of requested reads of my screenplays have increased tremendously since I began implementing the new format, so I swear by it. The ultimate choice is still the writer’s, however. All I can do is show them the new format.


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