Screenwriting : I need Insight by Victor Smith

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend! Every month thousands of creative connections are made on Stage 32 simply by taking the time to introduce yourself. Whether you're a Stage 32 veteran or a new member, click here to go to the Introduce Yourself Lounge and let us know what you're up to!

Victor Smith

I need Insight

One of my biggest issues that I currently have with writing more is the question of, is it worth continuing to write more. I have written one book on what Blacks have done in Baptist history titled "Why Weren't We Written." I have also written a movie script on the 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Riots titled, "Black Wall Street." I have several other projects in the works but struggle to motivate myself because I just don't know if it's totally worth pursuing as a career. I don't strive to become rich from my writing but I can't say that it wouldn't be nice. I'm a disabled Army War Veteran and am 37 years old and am well taken care of financially by the Military but I find myself basing success as a writer by the amount of money that I make from writing. Please tell me if there is a future for a movie script writer or should I just hold to the words that I started a book and finished it and I started a movie script and I finished it and let that be the end of what I thought could be a financially rewarding career path for a man with nothing else to do with his time?

Jody Ellis

All you have to do is look around here to see that the chances of making a living as a screenwriter are up there with odds on winning the lottery (lottery might be better odds, actually.) Its probably THE most difficult venue you could choose in regards to writing. And despite execs always being so "busy" it moves at a snails pace.

If you enjoy writing and have another source of income, keep at it. You mentioned a book, which I think can be a much more rewarding direction to take, lots of options in both getting published or self publishing. Take some classes on the kind of writing that interests you most, keep writing and keep honing your craft. Even if you never make a penny from it, you'll still be able to say you tried.

Leontist Fizer

Victor, a writer is someone with a burning passion to tell a story. Added situations that you go through that most human beings don't, is a tool that will test your character, but make will you stronger as a person and your voice louder. Certain people who overcame horrific obstacles to become something they not only want to be - but needed to be are everyday protagonist and hero's. I know you watch stories like that and think "I overcame so much as well". Now that's where your will kick in. I was shot 11 times 4 months after I turned 18, and once I found out I was going to be partially paralyzed I was shattered, but a nurse who been through so much said "this is the first day of your new life". Are you going to let it make you - or break you?" I chose to let it make me. Unlike school, (where most likely you're given a topic) screenwriting/writing is an idea you perceive out of your headas being a plausible subject you think others will connect with! Sometimes the first 30-30,000 don't see what you see, now that's when the passion aspect begins, because writing is a cruel business, for everyone. It will break your heart, but if you are a visionary... Stay true to the voice you need millions to hear'! I am interested about the topics you write about. Just need to reach somebody that loves it that has juice to put it on a big screen. Hang in there:)

Erik A. Jacobson

Victor.... Please don't assume that because you've written a single draft of a book or script that you've finished it. If you write, it means that you must rewrite and rewrite and rewrite, draft after draft, until you've perfected it. Find a qualified consultant or online contest that gives you good feedback. Warning: When you get notes from these readers, don't take it personally or allow it to discourage you. Instead, use it to learn and move forward in your career. Script classes can also help us identify our strengths and weaknesses.

Happy to hear you're writing about the Tulsa riots. History has swept this story under the rug. It really needs to be told.

Thanks for your service to your country, Victor.

Craig D Griffiths

Spec script writing is not an endeavour that people should undertake to make money. I can tell you how to make money and it doesn't involve writing. If you can't see yourself doing it for free, then it might not be for you. I normally encourage people to never stop. But if cash is your goal, you are wasting valuable money making time.

Daniel Rewijk

Craig D Griffiths can't be more right. You should do it for the passion of writing. If I read this you should just focus on writing books, if you ask me. On the other side you should realize that it never should be about money but about the story, your love for it. I Hope that helps. If you want conformation if you are any good put your work into contest but don't measure by money please.

Philip E. Odiete

In every random choices you make; the probability of you making a right choice is by far tender to the probability of making the wrong one. It takes a man of humility and selflessness to look beyond the consequences of failing in making the wrong choices and survive by it: but it takes a man of foresight and reason to make the right choices and live by it.

Writing is a fine career; when there's passion, you're certain to be established

Dan Guardino

Screenwriting is all about the journey. If you enjoy the journey it is worth pursuing. If you're only in it to make money you better be willing to be in it for the long haul because it can take years before someone breaks in as a screenwriter. When I started out my goal was to write a dozen screenplays and if I didn't sell one by then I was planning on quitting.

Good luck!

Doug Nelson

Dan G speaks the truth. If you're motivated by the money and glamor - you're in it for the wrong reason. I'd bet that a journeyman plumber earns more than most screenwriters.

Erik A. Jacobson

Just because others have an interest in the Tulsa story is no reason for a new writer like Victor to abandon his project. Who knows? He may come up with a unique take on the story that no one else has thought of. There are many writers who have tackled the Rosewood massacre or Lincoln's last days or other true stories.

Myron DeBose

Anyone can write but getting good at it is different. A book or screenplay requires a different mastery of craft. Maybe you can do it all but part of your frustration could be that you are not building up your skill level. I chose screenwriting because it is shorter than a book. I do not believe it is easier. With online books, it may be easier to self-publish and make money. I have read a few authors that do that and claim it is profitable. They may not be famous but they earn a living. Platforms like Kindell make it easy to self-publish and at $4, I may buy your book. Readers binge read, so the odds are in your favor if you write well based on that genra. You can even create a following for future books.

Arial Burnz

I posted this as my intro picture and this calls for posting it again. Don't give up, Victor. A lot of people have given great advice in these comment.

I'm a self-published author and you can certainly make enough money to support yourself, but if you have an income that supports you, then you should certainly do it for the passion and not for the money.

We writers write because we HAVE to...not because we want to. Wanting is a good thing, but not the driving force, if you ask me. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd go BONKERS if I couldn't write. Money should not be the measuring stick of your success, especially if you have an income to support yourself.

You're one of the lucky ones! There are many screenplay writers that struggle to find time to write. I don't mean to make light of your disability. I served in the USAF during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was lucky enough to walk away unscathed, but I have friends and family in your position. You're a brave soul. It sounds like you are taking advantage of the opportunity your disability provides, so hats off to you!!

Henry Ford said: If you think you can...or you think you can't...either way, you're right.

If you'd like to know how to make money as a self-published author, check out my author website where I have a lot of links to resources and articles with a ton of tips. AND I'm available if you have any questions! I'm an ex-editor, and ex-cover designer and have self-published a half-dozen books for myself, as well as helped many friends break into self-publishing. It's another outlet for your writing.


Victor Smith

Thank you all for your concern moments on my post. It’s greatly appreciated and important for me to hear your thoughts.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

You have to be a screenwriter for the long haul because you love doing it. And a backup gig is advisable. That's why I'm a realtor again.

Doug Nelson

Victor - you have a script, find out if it's any good. Polish it to a bright shinny object and take it wide. It sounds like a period docu-drama. Period pieces are a hard sell today but there are a few production companies out there - do your research. Make sure your script is not preachy. It's the market that will tell you if you're a good writer - not you. You're a military guy? - just go do it (you know how)! All the best to you.

Other topics in Screenwriting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In