So you want to be a screenwriter? Do you know that there are many different forms of writing involved in screenwriting? You can’t specialize in just one genre. If you’re writing the screenplay, you’re usually writing an adaptation of an existing novel. You don’t write the story as much as you adopt it for the screen. It’s a challenge because the book can take 20 hours to read while you have to compress it into a 2 hour movie. This is just one of the types of writing you need to master. Here are 5 more.
1) Technical Writing
If you’re going to do science fiction, your screenwriting will venture into the realm of technical writing. For this you will need the right technical writing Software. You don’t need to know the latest theories in astrophysics to do the job. But you may need to hire a one-time expert to establish the technical details that sufficiently explain your mcguffin.
A technical writer will also be useful for documentaries, history, and other non-fiction screen work. Your segment on the future of graphene will need a professional explainer who will keep the audience informed and connected. Sometimes a technical writer is a screenwriter‘s best friend.
2) Press release
What happens when you’re done with the script? Depending on the size of the production, absolutely nothing if you don’t do it yourself. You must learn to cultivate a relationship with the press. Part of the culture of this relationship is to send out press releases. A press release is very different from writing a screenplay. Press releases read like news, but with a bias and enthusiasm for the work you present. He finds a happy space between news and marketing.
If you’re a one-person production company, you have to wear many hats. One of those hats is marketing. You need to be able to effectively publicize your new project. You can’t wait for the production to be finished. Films are almost never finished before the first trailers are produced. Marketing starts early in the film world. Writing and press relations are part of the job.
Dialogue is the Achilles heel of many creative writers. You can just be proficient at exposition and still land a hit if your characters engage in the kind of dialogue that keeps viewers coming back for more. Each character should have their own voice. You have a voice problem when all the characters sound the same. This is a sign that your characters are not fully realized.
When the characters are fully realized, readers can anticipate the kinds of things they will say in any given circumstance. If one of the characters does a very technical job, you’ll need to tap into your technical writing skills to make the person sound authentic. Hiring a tech writer to give a character some real-world grounding is no different than hiring an editor to clean up your copy.
4) Scene blocking
You need more than a good plot and catchy dialogue for a compelling storyline. You also need to master the art of scene blocking. Blocking out a scene is like choreographing a dance. Characters need to know where they need to be in relation to other characters, objects, and scenery. A character cannot angrily throw a vase at another character if there is no vase within reach and the other character isn’t far enough away for throwing a vase to make sense. Give the director and actors something to work with and they’ll take it from there.
5) Grant Writing
You can write a screenplay for free. But it costs money to shoot the film. If you wear several hats, you will probably need to raise funds for the project. If the project is for historical or educational purposes, you could get a grant for your documentary. Grant writers tend to be paid well because they often make the difference between a funded product and a canceled product. Learn how to write grant applications and you’ll have a crucial source of funding for your non-fiction projects.
As a freelance screenwriter, you have to wear many hats to bring your projects to life. This means developing skills such as press, grants, and technical writing. If you don’t have these skills, it’s more affordable than you think to hire an expert.