Introduce Yourself : Looking for screenwriting resources by Toby Davidow

Looking for screenwriting resources

Hi Everyone, I may be a bit premature being on this site, as my career has not been on the stage.

I am very interested in learning how to become a legitimate screenwriter for my real life story. I am prepared for it taking years to perfect the craft. But everyone has to start somewhere, right?

I'd appreciate a comment from anyone who may have got into the screenwriting field in a roundabout way. What made you start screenwriting? What resources were helpful to you? Thanks in advance.

Edward Skirtich

Hi Toby- My screenwriting started at a close by suburb of Brentwood when I saw "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" in 1977. Then Spielberg and Lucas classics "Indiana Jones" series and all Steven Spielberg and John Williams classics of the 1970's/ Peace- Ed Skirtich

Philip Sedgwick

You might want to check out the Alexandria Film Festival, Nov 7 - 10. Good folks run it and you'll meet filmmakers in all stages of evolution. And of course, screenwriters. Always fun to chat about projects and the biz.

Nick Baker has a lot of great stuff. They have a whole film/tv section with screenwriting and other general filmmaking classes. Plus a general writing section with things like character development, short story telling, comedy writing, etc...

John Ellis

Read scripts. There are quite a few out there you can download for free. Read one while watching the movie, analyzing scene by scene. That's the best way to learn screenwriting. :)

Kay Luke


To start with, What do you mean by "legitimate Screenwriter"?

Selling a script and being a fulltime Professional Screenwriter is not the same. There are a quite a few Pros who have never sold a script, and more than one amatuer who has.

Pro TV Writers can go years without getting a Written By credit while working on a hit show, and the highest paid Pros Screenwriters don't get on screen credit for thier work. The point is, it's not as clear cut as it seems.

That being said, I have a some instructional materials I can send you. DM me.

Toby Davidow

Thank you all for your insight! You gave me some quality ideas that I will follow up on -- between the local film festival,, and reading scripts while watching the movie. Truly grateful for these tips!

To clarify on Kay's good question, I would like to sell a script to promote a cause that I'm advocating for via my family's story. I don't envision myself becoming a professional,full time screenwriter. Thank you for making clear there is a distinction -- I truly had no idea. I tried sending a DM but the system can't find any of my connections. But I'd love to take you up on the offer of instructional materials. Thank you!

Calum Proudfoot Turnbull

IMO, you can only call yourself a "whatever" if You Get Paid to do it. A person who writes is just a person who writes until they sell enough to make enough to pay their expenses writing, Then, they are "a (professional) Writer".

Reading any number of scripts will NOT teach you how to tell a story. Most scripts, like most movies, music, books, and Ideas, are Bad.

Most (published and available) screen and teleplays are either transcripts, or "versions" that contain a lot of stuff that You, as a Writer, should not include in your screenplay anyway.

There are many books on screenwriting, and some of them are very good; explaining how to tell a story using the (professional) industry standard formatting and introducing some of the other considerations that producers, investors, and directors must consider; like budget and feasability,,,, e.g. Can it be done and for how much by whom? Telling stories well is (a Talent) just Step ONE in the huge and complex Business of "making movies".

Elaine Roberts-Kercheff

Hi Toby! Welcome to Stage32 and congrats on taking this step to further yourself as a screenwriter! I'm not sure what stage you're at with your script, however I agree with everyone's suggestions: read and study screenplays to learn the craft. Also, when you're ready - I've heard a lot of good things about The Writer's Room right here on Stage32. I suggest checking that out. If you need help with anything feel free to reach out! Best of Luck!

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