Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Question of the week 2/14 How's your philosophy?

Question of the week for 2/14 taken from Philosophy of a Great Screenwriter class:
Presented by Hal Croasmun at ScreenwritingU.com

Tip 12. Some People Get Lucky. Make Sure You're One of Them.

In this industry, you often hear about "lucky breaks." Many of the most successful writers, producers, and actors credit part of their success to a few lucky moments.

But let's be clear. The vast majority of those people absolutely deserve their luck because they created it...and so will you.

Having said that, there's the other side of the coin. Some writers don't want to accept luck as part of their model. In fact, they'll refuse a lucky break if they get one. Either they don't recognize it, or they don't like how it is being presented to them, or they don't want luck to be the reason for their success. Whatever the reason, they have sabotaged their own success. Don't let that happen to you.

Creating Your Own Luck

This is all about driving your own story (Tip 1). You can't control the industry, but you can control the actions you take. Here are some easy steps for creating your own luck:

1. Make sure you're prepared.

Overall, this entire philosophy is about getting you ready for a lucky break. But you also need to do the work to have screenplays that are attractive to agents and producers (Tip 3). You need to have a pitch that will instantly intrigue an industry player. And you need the confidence (Tip 4) to present yourself as a professional.

2. Put yourself in situations where luck/opportunities can occur.

Interact online with writer's groups, filmmakers, and producers. Go to events where you can network. Don't wait for opportunity to come knocking. Knock on opportunity's door!

Even if your script gets turned down (Tip 9), there's still value that can come out of it. You can build relationships with the production company. Use the feedback to improve your script. Then, learn from the experience so your next submission is more successful.

3. Accept lucky breaks and take action on them.

The opportunity has shown up. Don't put on the brakes. Just step forward. Take the appropriate action. If it is an important connection, build a relationship. If it is a chance to collaborate with a production company, jump in. If it is an offer, give yourself permission to make the deal (Tip 5) and move your career forward.

Very likely, you've created opportunities like this at some point in your life (Tip 7). Thinking back on how you "became lucky" might give you insights into how to do something similar for your screenwriting.

ACTION: Create a plan RIGHT NOW to take action on the three steps listed above. Don't wait until later. Design your future success today.

QUESTION: How can you set up your screenwriting career to create more opportunities and take advantage of lucky breaks?


Write right and write on!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Philosophy of a Great Screenwriter: Tip 1

Philosophy of a Great Screenwriter Class

Presented by ScreenwritingU.com

Tip 1. Drive Your Own Story

Think of the biggest successes you've had in life -- especially the ones that you worked for -- and let me ask you a question.

Don't they all have a story that comes with them?

A beginning when you decided to go for a specific goal. Then a middle when you encountered the work required to make that goal happen. And finally, an ending where you've succeeded!

Very likely, you learned something in the process -- your own character arc.

Right now, as a screenwriter, you are somewhere in that 1st or 2nd Act. You are the protagonist of your story. And the beautiful thing is that this story ends with you succeeding in a big way...

...if you choose to DRIVE your own story.

Make sure you understand that last point. You, and you alone, are in charge of driving your own story. Reluctant protagonists don't succeed at breaking in. You can afford to be reluctant AFTER you are a star. But to break in, you must be proactive. You must take control of your screenwriting career.

The good news is that there are more resources for becoming a professional screenwriter than at any other time in history. Check out these resources: Screenwriting software (like Movie Magic) instantly formats your script to look and feel professional. Screenwriting communities (like ScriptChat) offer places where you can discuss the craft with other writers. There are sites where you can pitch your script from anywhere in the world (like Virtual Pitch Fest and ScriptBlaster), or upload your logline/script for producers to see (like Inktip). And we're proud to offer some of the best screenwriting classes in the world (ScreenwritingU).

With those and other resources, you can truly succeed...if you drive your own story.


You are the writer of your own story. Don't write a tragedy. Don't try to create a lot of drama for your protagonist (yourself). Instead, create an amazing story where the hero succeeds.

Today, you are on a journey -- your own hero's journey. This journey doesn't come to you. You come to it. Every day, you make the choices and take the actions that will further your journey.

You are the proactive protagonist that never quits. Wherever you are, you look to the next leg of the journey and move forward. You don't allow anything to stop you. You take the steps, confront the demons, and become the master of your own world.

You know your destination. Honor it.

ACTION: Make a list of the things you need to do to succeed. Then put them in a sequence. Choose one you can take action on today and move forward in your journey.

List of Actions could be: Write. Join ScriptChat. Take a class. Attend a screenwriting conference. Write a query letter. Send a query letter. Talk with another screenwriter. Answer an ad in Craigslist for "Screenwriters Wanted." Improve your network. Meet a new screenwriter on Facebook or Twitter. Comment on a screenwriting blog. Enter a contest.

There are 100 things you could do today. Pick one that moves your writing career forward today.

QUESTION: Every day, ask yourself the question, "What can I do right now to move my screenwriting career forward?"


For more information and classes, visit ScreenwritingU.com

Write right and write on!

Question of the Month Feb 2011: What is your mindset?

Question of the Month for Feb 2011

What is your current mindset regarding your screenwriting career?  What do you actually believe you can accomplish?  Are you sabatoging your efforts from negative self-talk? 

You get what you expect.

Write right and write on.