The path to screenwriting success:
ABOUT THE BOOK AND THE AUTHOR
What’s In The Book…
The path to screenwriting success:
Offering an insider’s path to building a successful screenwriting career, this book reveals the career-killing mistakes aspiring screenwriters make, tells how to avoid them, and shows how to be the writer movie and TV producers will want on their team.
It reveals what the industry sees as the worst mistakes, in both the content of screenplays and behavior, which thwart screenwriting success. It’s full of valuable tips and tricks to help you succeed, as told by industry insiders.
Most of the information in this book comes from surveys of and interviews with industry people and surveys of aspiring screenwriters.
Most of these industry people view the errors discussed in this book, and the aspiring writers who make them, very negatively.
In contrast, most of the surveyed aspiring screenwriters don’t realize how much their screenplay content issues and personal behaviors can annoy or even infuriate people in the industry.
The goal of this book is to not to tell you that industry people are “right,” but to let you know what they expect, and why screenwriting success depends on heeding what they say.
It covers a wide range of both “mistakes” (in the eyes of the industry) and tips and tricks in these general categories:
● Grammar, spelling, and formatting
● Basic bad screenwriting
● Manners and diplomacy
● Receiving criticism and notes
● Attitudes toward unpaid rewrites
● Copyright vs. WGA registration
● Whose ego is getting in the way — yours or theirs?
● Failing to sufficiently (and diplomatically) market yourself and your work
● What to realistically expect from screenwriting contests, pitchfests, agents, and producers.
Get Answers To These Questions
It will answer these and many other questions:
“They have people to fix spelling and grammar mistakes, right?
For the answer, see chapter 2.
“Is querying a complete waste of time?”
See chapter 8.
“I won a pretty big contest, but nobody called me. Why? And now what?”
See chapters 8 and 12.
“Are screenwriting contests just a money-making ripoff?”
See chapter 12.
“They asked me to send them my script and then I heard nothing back. What is that all about? And what do I do now?”
See chapters 8 and 10.
“Are pitchfests a waste of time?”
See chapters 8 and 13.
“My screenplay is written. Now, how do I get an agent?”
Let me answer that one right here: At this stage, you probably can’t. Read about your other options and opportunities in chapters 8, 10, 11, and 13.
“How can I make an independent producer pay me for rewrites?”
Learn your options and opportunities, and about a realistic path to screenwriting success in your relationship with an indy producer in chapter 10.
“Why are movie producers looking for nothing but fluff, franchises, and movies based on comic strips?”
You’re misinformed. See chapter 10.
“Why don’t they reach out to my (age group, gender, ethnic group)?”
They do. See chapter 10.
“I don’t dare copyright my screenplay because then, it will be public and anyone can steal it. So I should just register it with the WGA, right?”
Read chapters 7 and 8 on why copyrighting your screenplay is your best protection.
“I have the greatest blockbuster screenplay ever written. Screenwriting success is right around the corner, so why would I need your book?”
Hoping not to offend … You might well be the very writer who needs it most. Start reading at the top of chapter 1 and don’t stop ’til the end.
“I don’t want a lot of details. Give me the most important tip in the book in one sentence.”
Since I don’t know what you might be doing “wrong” in the eyes of the industry, I can’t say which tip you need most. However, my favorite is at the bottom of chapter 5. It’s the single most powerful strategy in this book.
And here’s another secret: 95% of aspiring screenwriters won’t believe how powerful that strategy is, and 99% won’t do it. Be that one who uses it.
About The Author
Bill Donovan was once an aspiring screenwriter. While earning a master’s degree in film production and screenwriting from the University of Southern California, he won three student screenwriting contests.
Those wins helped him get agents twice, but none of his work was sold. He made several of the mistakes covered in this book.
From 2007 to 2012, he was the publisher of Creative Screenwriting Magazine, and served as its editor for two years. He was also the executive producer of the Screenwriting Expo from 2007 to 2011, supervised 10 screenplay contests, and produced 10 of the company’s 60 educational DVDs for screenwriters.
Since 2012, he has run Screenwritingcommunity.net, offering his screenwriting books as well as proofreading and story comments to screenwriters, and advertising opportunities to people and businesses selling services and products to help screenwriters succeed.
In his work, he has come into contact with thousands of screenwriting hopefuls, more than two dozen Oscar winners and writers of Hollywood blockbusters, and nearly a hundred produced screenwriters in all.
He began to see starkly different patterns of behavior between the paths to screenwriting success and the approaches of hopeful screenwriters who never stood a chance. So he did a good bit of objective research on what causes most aspiring screenwriters to fail.
His credentials as a researcher include more than three decades working as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, the Associated Press, and business news publications, where he won or shared five national business journalism awards.
He can be reached by email by clicking on the photo below or by surface mail at PO Box 6735, Big Bear Lake CA 92315.