Screenwriting Tips — Most Important Tip

In short, the most important of the screenwriting tips that I can actually give you has nothing to do with writing itself; it’s just life advice. Do not settle – I’ll repeat that, do not settle. You’re going to hear a lot of voices that tell you that you should quit this racket and that you’ll never make it, and you know what? If you listen to those people, they’re right – you never will make it. But it won’t be because of a lack of talent, it’ll be because of a lack of tenacity. Don’t let the negative voices of the people around you, or even the ones in your own head, psych you out- and believe me, they will try to, sometimes on a daily basis.

Ultimately, the thing that separates a professional screenwriter from an amateur one is not always talent. All you have to do is see a Michael Bay movie to know that – no, the thing that separates them is far simpler than that. It’s willpower, plain and simple elbow grease, the will to keep going when the bottom seems to have fallen out, that separates the pros from the rookies, the champs from the would-be contenders.

How far you’re willing to go, how much you’re willing to fight – that part of your story is entirely up to you. Sometimes, we spend so much time scripting our characters that we forget how much control we have over our own lives. If you want to write, you don’t need someone’s permission to do so – this isn’t high school anymore, you’re a damn adult, so take a screenwriting tip and start acting like it and start writing.

Ultimately, the most important thing I can leave you with is to not lose the faith. There are going to be moments when you work in this industry, a lot of them, in fact, where it will seem that life, or show-business, or whatever your straw man of the moment is, are trying to break you. The reality is that there are no grand conspiracies, no system that is trying to keep you out of breaking into show-business.

Ultimately, I sincerely wish you the best of luck as you continue on your literary journey. This is a tough, arduous journey that you are embarking on, and much like Bilbo at the end of the Hobbit, if you make it to the end, you probably won’t be the same person at the end of it. But that is a good thing – climbing a mountain should change you a bit. It should make you realize that you have more inner strength then you realized when you set out at the start, and that the best things in life are the ones that aren’t handed to you on a platter with a silver spoon beside them. But most importantly, it should make you realize that when you make it to the top, sometimes you just have to shut up for a moment, inhale deeply, and enjoy the breathtaking view.