Write 2 Be Magazine

For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box

Three Critical Career Skills For A Screenwriter: What Can You Outsource? By Melody Jackson

One of the challenges for screenwriters and really many other active, ambitious creative people is trying to find time to do all the things they feel they need to do. If you are someone who likes to deliver high quality work – and I would hope that you are – then not only do you have to find time to do the thing you need or want to do, but you also have to find time to study it and learn how to do it the best way.

The problem is, as an aspiring screenwriter who is not yet making a reliable, consistent income, you probably have a job to tend to, and various relationships that you must also share your time with, so you have limited time to dedicate to your screenwriting.

Given these demands on your time and your deep desire to have a screenwriting career, how do you get everything done that you need to help with your screenwriting?

The answer is the big trend these days… outsource. It may not be the perfect word for what we’re talking about for screenwriters, but simply using that term gives a slightly different bent on getting assistance.

Here are three of the critical elements of a screenwriter’s skills I’ve identified. Let’s look at which of these are critical for you to be able to do and which ones you can outsource or get assistance with.

  1. Writing and studying the craft of screenwriting, knowing how to develop and integrate theme, character arc, and plot.

This is the number one element that you should spend about 80% of your most key prime time hours doing. The core of a screenwriting career is the writing itself. The other 20% is critical, too, but the writing itself is the fundamental core and what you should absolutely spend most of your time on and develop excellence in.

  1. Typing your script in the Hollywood style format.

Your script must be formatted properly, and you should definitely know the basics of how to do this. The format itself creates the pacing of the script. So you should know how to do it at the most basic level.

However, this is not one you should spend an enormous amount of time on after you learn the basics. You can easily outsource a good proofreading of your script to correct any errors in formatting.

  1. Pitching your story ideas and screenplay – both verbally and in written form.

This is another critical 10% of your screenwriting career. Ultimately, you have to learn to pitch your stories – both verbally and written – to have a screenwriting career. But developing your pitch is definitely something you can seek input on from an outside source.

The fact is that writing a pitch IS different than writing a script, no matter what anyone says. You have to succinctly pick out the most critical aspects of a story and tell it in an interesting way.

But you don’t have to sit down on your own and do it starting with a blank page. You can hire assistance by outsourcing to help you with it. Once you get good at it, you can still work with an expert to help you hone it. But if you have limited time, then spend that time writing and get assistance with this.

There are certain screenwriting career skills that need your direct input and focus. Other skills may be better suited for outsourcing. Your responsibility as the manager of your writing career is to understand what’s necessary for success and then determine the best way to achieve it. You may find that your time and focus are better spent in some areas and not in others. Outsourcing some career skills may be just the solution for rejuvenating your screenwriting career.

Got a screenplay you want to sell to Hollywood? You’ll need to know all the ropes of Hollywood to sell a script, from writing to pitching, marketing, networking, and following up. Start by grabbing your complimentary copy of “Marketing Caffeine For Screenwriters” — articles written to energize your script marketing, by Melody Jackson of top Hollywood marketing firm Smart Girls Productions.

Smart Girls has gotten their clients’ scripts read by top producers and nearly every studio in Hollywood. Get “Marketing Caffeine” now at: http://smartg.com/screenwritertips. You’ll also get a bonus report on the Top 20 Literary Agents.


About jcladyluv

Jimmetta Carpenter was born and raised in the Prince George’s County Maryland and has had a very big imagination since a very early age. She has been writing poetry since she was in elementary school around the age of ten. Her love of words has allowed her to express herself in ways in which verbally she can not. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and the author of a collection of poetry, The Art of Love under the Pseudonym Gemini, and a novel titled The Diary: Succession of Lies under the Pseudonym Jaycee Durant. She is looking forward to producing two new online magazines, Write 2 Be, and Write 2 Be*Kids, in 2013 under Write 2 Be Media Co. She is currently working on her third and fourth novels and is looking forward to having a very long and rewarding career in writing and hopes that through living out her dreams she can inspire someone else out there to realize theirs. Her advice to other up and coming authors is to NEVER stop believing in your dreams and don’t ever be afraid to dream big.

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2015 by in Contributing Writers and tagged , , , .
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