I recently spoke to Glenn M. Benest, who is an award-winning writer/producer with seven produced film credits, as we are discussing him teaching workshops through Your Plot Thickens. I wanted to know, in his opinion, what is the secret to screenplay success?
5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Screenwriter According to Glenn Benest:
1. Create a writing schedule
When I was a young writer, I had a job teaching. I got home at 2:30 pm, took a nap, then wrote every night from 7:00 to 11:00 pm. I also wrote all weekend. That was how I was able to churn out material that eventually got me my first paying job and launched me as a writer.
2. Write, write and write
The more you continue to hone your craft, the better off you'll be. Screenwriting takes a certain muscle or group of muscles and the more you exercise those muscles the stronger they become.
3. Don’t send your work out too early
We face a very tough environment today. Producers want screenplays that don't need much work to go into production. The closer the screenplay is to a final shooting script the better chance it has of being bought.
4. Get professional feedback
We all have tunnel vision when it comes to our own material; so we lose objectivity. We all need that kind of professional feedback that will push us to take our material to a higher level and give us a much better chance of a sale.
5. Don’t have a plan B
You have to want this more than you want anything else in the world. Decide you're going to make it no matter what. Take classes and go to seminars. Network. Live and breathe screenwriting. If you're going to treat screenwriting as a hobby, don't have illusions you'll make a career for yourself in this field.