“A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end… but not necessarily in that order.”
Jean Luc Godard
“I think it’s a mistake to write something you think people will like, or a combination idea, or this year’s version of last year’s movie. I don’t think you’ll ever get noticed doing that. I think you’re only going to get noticed by following your own instincts and doing original work and writing the thing that only you can write.”
“You have to fail before you can prevail. Every single successful screenwriter has failed more than they’ve ever succeeded. And the same can be said for filmmakers as well.”
THINGS I KNOW WILL HELP…
CREATE A BEAT SHEET
Professional writers spend more time prepping and thinking about the story than writing the scenes. You need to write all the “beats” of your story (conflict/structure…) before you write the first scene. This will help you NOT get lost in the middle of your story. If you don’t understand how to create a beat sheet, I can help.
Read as many scripts as you can find, especially in the genre you are writing in. See how the writer has created the BLUEPRINT of the script. Afterward, watch the movie and see how the blueprint was interpreted by the other talented people working on the film/tv series.
LEARN YOUR CRAFT
There is a large number of resources to help you learn the craft of writing. Remember, talent can not be taught but craft can – so use the knowledge already gathered by other writers. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll improve.
MAKE SURE YOUR SCREENPLAY IS READY BEFORE YOU SHOP IT AROUND
You’ll only have one shot to impress a Producer – period. Make sure your script is ready, so get as much feedback as possible – and NOT from friends or family (even if they are in the business). They just can’t be objective enough to give you honest and forthright notes.
Screenplays-Online.de – Screenplay Archive and Community
Simply Scripts – Movie Scripts and Screenplays
EXCELLENT REFERENCE BOOKS
Power screenwriting – the 12 Stages of Story Development by Michael Chase Walker
Story, Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell