Screenwriting : Getting Better by Kyle Brenza

Kyle Brenza

Getting Better

Hey guys, I was wondering if any of you screenwriters out there have any advice on how to become a better writer. When I say this, I'm not looking for 'keep writing'. I think there are ways in addition to that to hone different aspects of one's skill sets that pertain to our wonderful craft of screenwriting. Basically, I've written some screenplays. But I feel like as a writer I am no where near ready to hit the market place with I've created. Do any of you have any practices or exercises that helped made you a better writer? Any books or seminars? Also, to note, I'm not looking for a miracle potion to drink that will turn me into the likes of Aaron Sorkin or Charlie Kaufman, just practical advice for what I can add to my work regime. I think what would also help is if I sat down with a more professional writer and they pointed my weaknesses and worked with me to improve them. Have any of you heard of a service like that? Thanks in advance! You guys rock!

Josue Manuel Sanudo

In all aspects of writing I'm a beginner, but have you heard about story engines? and/or Transmedia? Combine the two and I've found out that's theirs no limit to what I've ran into. I mean I was force to add character connections, story extensions. Analyze your structure and here's one last thing. Do a thorough job on your characters description with wardrobe and all the bells and whistles no matter how small their part is. Try it for a bit you never know. I hope I was helpful.

Zlatan Mustafica

Firstly, write and don´t look back. Don´t overthink it, just do it. Then, as you have finished something, don´t fall in love with the material or yourself but read through, find bad parts, correct, improve, Think about it and improve it some more and be critical of your own work and you´ll not only find ways to make it better but your next piece of work will be better because of this. Read, take seminars, webinars, listen to succesful writers and find your own system and process that you feel comfortable with. And if you´re talented??? All this hard work will pay off. But you gotta put it all out there and be willing to hurt like hell. And yes, it hurts less and less as you get better. Just my experience. Wish you all kinds of success, man!

Allen Johnson

People will be quick to bad mouth learning from books. I feel they do a great job of lessening the learning curve. They are not all created equal and everyone has their favorites. I wrote a short blog about what I feel are Ten Essential Books every Screenwriter needs to have (plus a few honorable mentions). In addition to this, read screenplays in the genres that you are writing in. Take lots of notes. Enjoy the process and never stop learning and striving to improve.

Tamim Almousa

Read more screenplays.

Craig D Griffiths

Read screenplays to see how they achieved things. Then read them while you watch the movie. Write monologues for actors as practice pieces for their showreel. Just don't keep writing. Practice must be done with a view to improve, not reinforcing bad habits. Finally, you will have hundreds of ideas so don't hold them to close. Realise that the line you just wrote has a better line being formed in your head. You will get better by striving to get better and that your failures is an indicator of growth. Your audience is not everyone. So find those people and write for them.

Bill Taub This is pure step by step process that works for any project. Write what you want to see!!! (Great Advice from Robert Townsend)

Dionne Lister

I did a creative writing degree which included screenwriting, and I've read some really good books on the subject. It all helps.

Jorge J Prieto

I listen to many of the interviews on Film Courage channel on YouTube. I also read articles plus videos from Michael Hauge. . I did take writing courses back in college, read as many of my favorite movies screenplays, and I started writing at age 13, as a coping mechanism to the pain I was enduring in my life. Btw, this website offers excellent webinars and free great advice every month by RB, our leader, who brings great guest speakers and the Friday's with RB blog is always packed with information and links to excellent articles and everything screenwriting, acting, ECT. Good luck, Kyle. I'm here for you.

Damola Taiwo

I would say is not about becoming a great writer. But it is about being different from other authors' story (unique Stories within the book) . And that separates your book from being very different from other authors' book. For an example, Every year, we have different books that makes us happy and that increases the sales of the book or a product line. And books should come that way every year. Every year, the customers want to read different books and not the same style within the book (story). However, my movie books are not the greatest but the stories are very different with different stories and drawings. I would say change is good sometimes, when it comes to writing a book and that will make your stories and book way different from other books. Your book can be educational and it varies how you want your story to be in your book. I hope this helps and Have a great day.

Kyle Brenza

Thank you so much everybody! I am going to be taking everything you guys said to heart and really try to apply it! If I have any questions in regards to your suggestions, I hope it's okay to reach out to you all in the future. Thanks again!

Jean Buschmann

Hi Kyle, I went on a similar journey recently - to find the best resources to improve certain aspects of my screenwriting craft. The funny thing was that I had hand-picked a few instructors, but then literally everyone I talked to from all walks of life started mentioning Robert Mckee. It was hilarious! - I took it as a sign, and I'm so glad I did. I've already learned so much from his classic book STORY. He also just came out with a new book on dialog, and you can find a whole host of clips of him explaining "the craft" on YouTube. I HIGHLY recommend that you check him out. He's extremely knowledgeable, down-to-earth, and very succinct and precise at describing concepts and common pitfalls. Good luck!

Desiree Middleton

You'll need to narrow down what about your writing isn't where it should be. A great starting point is reading great screenplays. Read them with a Critical eye. With a highlighter and pen and paper. Dissect them. What makes them great. Then compare them to what you wrote and you'll have a starting point for what you want to change about your writing. Once you've done that, post a blog discussion based on the specifics of what you need. Hope this helps.

Damola Taiwo

Staying busy. So much can be accomplished. Stay positive in your project. I Wish you all the best. Peace

Winnie Khaw

I've found that staying in frequent contact with a writer/reader whose opinion I trust helps me continually improve. :)

Dan Guardino

When I first started out my biggest problem was overwriting. I eventually learned how to write more economically. It took a lot of practice because it feels so awkward at first but it came more natural over time. Honestly I think that is one of thing that keeps people from getting their foot in the door. Most people in the business don't take a screenwriter very seriously if their screenplays read more like novels.

A. S. Templeton

I find it most useful to obtain a shooting script for a favorite movie, watch the movie then read the script. Fascinating to see how the two match... and how they don't. Stuff that was added, rewritten, dropped during production or snipped/rearranged in editing will really pop upon reading. The Fifth Element movie vs. script is a fine example.

Dustin Bowcott

Be born one.

Tamim Almousa

Or do some reading.

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