The decision to become a screenwriter is one of the most challenging yet rewarding ones that you’ll ever take. That being said, it’s also important to take this path with all the fact-checking done beforehand and know the truth about being a screenwriter.
10 Myths about Being A Screenwriter
To help you effectively navigate this journey, here are the top 10 myths about being a screenwriter that you should know-
1. A Writer Needs To Have Complete Creative Control Over The Screenplay
When it comes to screenwriting, neither the director nor the writer should enjoy full control. Making a film is a collaborative effort that requires inputs from multiple people to have a great final draft.
For this reason, writers must be completely open to taking suggestions and making required changes in their scripts.
2. You Need Inspiration To Write Well
This is one of the popular myths that the screenwriters have. But it is not true. What you really need to write well is not inspiration but discipline. Good writers can write brilliant scripts regardless of moods, ambiance, or any other obstacle. None of them just sit and wait for inspiration to strike because they truly understand the fact that writing is a serious work.
When done with a certain discipline, it makes you a great professional motivated by your own experience to sharpen your writing skills. As a screenwriter, you need to set clear goals for every day and finish them no matter what.
3. It Doesn’t Take Much Time To Write A Script
If you thought that it just takes a few months to write down a script, send it out to agents, sell it to a studio, and immediately start production, you need a reality check.
The truth is that it may take several years to fully master the art of writing a good screenplay and a great deal of time (years sometimes!) to get a good agent and get your script sold. Beginning production is another area that takes a lot of time after the script is finalized. Right from the writer’s first spark of an idea, a film may take a decade to finally hit the screens.
4. Screenwriting Is A Career Move That Can Make You Rich Quickly
It’s often publicized that the amount of money paid for a screenplay is huge. But the reality is very different as the first scripts sold by new writers usually don’t get much more than scale. If you divide the sum by the amount of time it took you to learn the basics of writing a screenplay and the time it took to write and sell your screenplay, you will realize that it’s not a lot of money.
Put simply, never be a screenwriter for the money. Do it because you adore films and want to be involved with making films in some way or the other.
5. It’s Not Important To Sell Yourself
Another common myth about screenwriting is that agents will do all the work on your behalf, and you don’t have to take any part in the networking aspect. Unfortunately, this is not true at all.
If you think that you can become a successful screenwriter just by spending the majority of your time isolated from others, you need to wake up. Once you set your foot in the screenwriting playfield and see initial success, you will need to attend frequent meetings and events to network and collaborate with others.
6. There Is No Rejection In The Field Of Screenwriting
Contrary to this myth, screenwriters face quite a lot of rejection. This is a natural part of the process, irrespective of how good or average you are as a writer. And you’re not alone.
Even the most talented and successful screenwriters get rejected, and great scripts get sidelined for others. Being a great screenwriter is more about being consistent in your approach and not giving up on your efforts. To see success in the role, it is essential to consistently support your work and keep pushing it forward without fearing rejections.
7. Screenwriting Has A Lot Of Rules
There is a big misconception about screenwriting that it comes with a lot of rules, like you aren’t allowed to describe anything or capitalize your character’s name when you introduce them. While some of them do exist to make things easier on the production team, the others are just an exaggeration.
Although there are some rules that screenwriters need to follow, if you do get them wrong at times, there is always a chance to edit and revise your script.
Also Read: English Your Weapon For World Domination
8. Once You Sell A Film Script, Your Career Is Made
This is one myth that needs to be debunked fast. The truth is that as screenwriters get older, ageism becomes an ongoing issue for them. In addition to this, to be able to truly establish yourself as a successful network writer, you need to first reach a position of demand and make an ongoing effort to maintain that.
9. A Query Letter Is The Best Way To Sell A Script
A query letter is just one way to sell a script. To make a mark and see success, you need to look for multiple pitching opportunities at various places, including expos, pitchfests, and festivals. Another way you can do this is to build a platform so that professionals can discover you, and it becomes easy to make contacts.
10. The Three-Act Structure Is Not Valid Anymore
Many new screenwriters today think in terms of four acts (or five-act//or seven-act structure), including the beginning as the first act, the middle being the second and third acts, and the end being the fourth end. The truth, however, is that all stories, irrespective of genre and domain, have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Whether you’ve been writing for a while or just starting In the field of screenwriting, it is important to dispel some of the common myths and understand how to approach the process of writing.
The most important aspect of being a good screenwriter is to communicate your script well and clearly and consistently format it using professional software such as WriterDuet. If you make sure that your readers aren’t lost or confused and put all efforts to properly format it, then small mistakes won’t matter at all.