5 Ways To Improve Your Screenwriting
As screenwriters, we’re our own biggest critic. If you’re not, then you’re doing it wrong. However, it can get to a point of unnecessary rewrites after reading through the script and feeling unsatisfied. If you’re struggling to get that script to a place that gets your approval, here’s 5 ways to improve your screenwriting.
1. Read Screenplays
It’s alarming how many people write screenplays without reading the work of other professionals. You should be reading good screenplays and bad screenplays to help you learn what works and what didn’t. See how other writers craft their plot and set the tone of the story they’re writing.
Sometimes it may not even be a matter of what you’re writing, but rather what you’re not writing. Understand how writers do subtext to illustrate a key point. The last thing you want to do is say too much in the dialogue. Reading screenplays can help you understand how screenwriters get it done.
- Analyze Movies With A Critical Eye
Analyzing movies is something we do naturally without even knowing it. Everybody has an opinion after they’ve watched something to make judgment on whether they liked it or not. You can use this to your benefit though. Maybe there was a line that didn’t sit right with you or wasn’t believable. How would you make it better? Maybe there was a character that should have been likable but wasn’t. How would you handle that character to make them likable? Or maybe the story just didn’t work for you. What would you do to fix that and make the film better? In this case, it helps to be a critic to help the perfection of your craft.
3. Listen To Professional Screenwriters Analyzing Scripts
If you’re more of a passive learner, then just sit back and listen to the pros talk. There’s a youtube channel called Film Courage that has professional screenwriters giving interviews on the craft of screenwriting. They talk about it from every angle imaginable and there’s great advice in there for you. The best advice comes from people who have actually already done it and done it at a high level.
4. Read Anything And Everything
Don’t just read screenplays. Read comics, manga, read it all. Poetry, history, science, all of it. Reading a wide array of content can help you come up with ideas for future scripts. Moreover, it’ll also help you be able to come up with the solutions on how to write your scenes, characters and plots to your stories. Reading makes it so your mind is constantly in that creative frame of mind and it just helps your brain operate quicker. Good writers read a lot.
5. Write a Screenplay FAST
Some writers suffer from the fear of starting a screenplay; the perilous white space on the screen. There’s a ton of inhibitions that creep in about writing a screenplay. One way to kill those inhibitions is to write a screenplay fast. Writing a screenplay fast helps you write on instinct which is good because a lot of the time writers stress over what to write when deep down, they know what to write but are afraid to just do it. Writing fast forces you to cut the BS and get down to business. It puts you in a go, go, go mindset that makes you avoid procrastination. You’ll be surprised how well it turns out and if it doesn’t, that’s okay. You can go back and rewrite it.
If you’re ever unsure about your skills, these 5 ways can help you improve your screenwriting.