Experimenting with different aspects of your writing will help you to understand your weaknesses and strengths, and will give you a stronger sense of your voice as a writer. Your power comes from your storytelling the way you tell it.
Dear Young Screenwriters,
Written by: Christine B.
May 12, 2022
Whether you’ve just started screenwriting or you’ve been experimenting with the art for a while, there’s always something new to learn. Here are 5 pieces of advice for every young screenwriter.
Take Time to Explore
Even if you know what genre or style you like to write in, don’t limit yourself. Take the time to explore other facets of screenwriting. You won’t like everything you try, and that’s okay too! With every new experiment, you discover more about yourself as a writer- what you like, what you don’t like. You’ll subconsciously be building an arsenal of techniques to use at your disposal. By experimenting, you’ll have more experience to help you avoid problems like clichés, writer’s block, etc.
Everyone learns at their own pace. The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to others. Don’t panic or berate yourself if others seem to be ahead of you. We’re all different and every screenwriter struggles with their own unique weaknesses. Measure your growth against yourself rather than others.
Use Your Voice
Every writer has their own voice. Even if you admire another screenwriter’s style, don’t outright copy them. Of course, you can use them as a source to develop your own writing style, and you should. Experimenting with different aspects of your writing will help you to understand your weaknesses and strengths, and will give you a stronger sense of your voice as a writer. Your power comes from your storytelling the way you tell it.
You can learn a lot just from reading and analyzing the work of other screenwriters. Again, don’t compare your growth to their work, but use their work as a source of learning and inspiration. Take notes on techniques, scenes, or styles that you like or don’t like. Even if their work is in another genre, there’s always something to learn from another screenwriter’s work. As well as techniques, you’ll also learn what the industry is developing and looking for especially when reading contemporary scripts. A year of reading scripts and studying what works could push you years ahead of the rest.
Embrace your Misadventures
Failure is always part of the process. Sometimes your work didn’t come out exactly as you had imagined it, and that’s okay. In these instances, there’s something to be learned from failure. Analyzing what went wrong, why you don’t like it, and what you can improve on are essential steps to growing as a screenwriter. Experiment often and embrace the experience.