How to become a famous writer

How to become a famous writer

Becoming a big shot, Hollywood screenwriter is a dream for many people, but most never take the necessary steps to become successful because they don’t see the profession as a craft. They see it as a way to get rich.

Granted, there are many screenwriters who have made millions of dollars over the courses of their careers. There are even a few “overnight successes” (if you don’t include the months or even years of toiling over their scripts before they became an “overnight success”). But for the most part, becoming a successful screenwriter is just like anything else of value—the result of hard work.

So, where does one start? We’ve outlined below some very basic steps to follow. Keep in mind that this is one possible path of many. The truth is, there is no one right or wrong way when seeking out a Hollywood writing career. Some things work for some people, but not for others. Some of it is luck, some of it is talent, and some of it is just never giving up. But if you’re looking for information on how to get started, the following steps should help provide a bit more direction.

Educate Yourself

Screenwriting isn’t just something to jump into. There are those exceptionally few writers who seem to understand the rhythm of a movie script and have an innate gift of dialogue from the start. But for the most part, new writers need to have a basic understanding of what it is they’re trying to write, and that means research.

One place to start is with some books on the topic. These will help provide an understanding of the basic structure of a movie script as well as how to go about writing its various elements—from creating interesting characters and plot to the development of engaging dialogue and proper story structure. These three books are a good start:

  • “Story Structure” by Robert McKee is the bible of story structure and the basics of the principles of screenwriting. A must read.
  • “Screenplay” by Syd Field is another must read by the one author that most Hollywood writers would agree is the master of the screenplay.
  • “Screenwriters Problem Solver,” also by Syd Field, is a follow-up to “Screenplay,” and Field takes readers through common problems many screenwriters confront and exercises to help fix them.

There are hundreds of books touting their screenwriting method as the best method. The fact is that once you know the basics of how to write a screenplay, you then need to practice doing so. Avoid books that claim to show you how to write a screenplay in 10 days or 20 days, or whatever. You need to learn about the mechanics of writing a script before worrying about how long it takes you to write one.

Read Successful Screenplays

Perhaps the most useful reference materials you can find are going to be sample scripts, especially those that are in the same genre you intend to write. For example, if you’re planning on writing a romantic comedy, get your hands on as many romantic comedy scripts as you can find. You will see that by having these scripts at the ready, you’ll soon begin to see how a film translates from a writer’s head into the finished product of a film.

Scripts can be purchased from places like Samuel French Bookstore, but you also might have luck with something as simple as Google. Search the title of just about any movie you can think of with the word “screenplay,” and you more than likely will find dozens of sites that will have exactly what you’re looking for.

If buying a script, be sure you get a full feature movie script rather than a “transcript.” A transcript is just a transcript of the dialogue of the film and won’t help you. You need a full feature script that you can refer to that shows dialogue, descriptions, and all action.

Start Writing

Depending on where you live, there might be a number of writing classes you can choose from, many of which specialize in screenwriting, but the most important step is to start writing. Too many people get caught up in the mechanics of screenwriting. They spend months, if not years, in classes and reading books on how to write a screenplay, but they never actually write anything.

So, after you get the basics down, start writing. Don’t overthink the process. Sit down at your computer, start typing the words, and print your screenplay. It’s what every screenwriter eventually does whether they’re a novice or a skilled professional.

Keep Writing

It is where many people get hung up. Once they start writing, they get stuck at a certain point and stop trying.

Some excuses might include a hiccup in the storyline, dialogue that isn’t working, or characters aren’t likable. All of these are valid issues, but none of them mean you should ever stop the writing process. As a screenwriter, you quickly will find that rewriting is about 80 percent of the job, if not more. The trick here is to avoid rewriting the same scene over and over without ever moving toward completion.

Too many writers fall into the trap of thinking that every page of the first draft must be perfect, but take comfort in this: First drafts of most screenplays usually are awful. The good news is that through your rewrites, they get much, much better. Forge ahead no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.

A good practice is to set page goals. For example, vow to finish at least five pages every day no matter what when working on a first draft. It can help you to finish the script without caring about the initial quality. After all, it’s sometimes easier to rewrite an existing script than to stare at a blank page.

Get Notes

“Getting notes” on a script refers to getting a little constructive criticism. Once you’ve finished with an acceptable draft of the screenplay, give it to three or four people whose opinions you trust.

Remember that what you’re looking for here is constructive criticism, not someone who tells you they “liked” or “disliked” your script. Usually, another writer will be the most useful for this process. Listen to the notes you get so that you can properly address them.

Network

Networking is still one of the most important skills a screenwriter can have. After all, this is more than likely how you’re going to get your script to an agent, producer, or studio executive.

In Los Angeles, there are numerous entertainment-related networking events. It’s crucial that as a screenwriter you attend as many of these as you can so you can meet like-minded individuals. Keep in mind that your script will not sell itself by sitting on a shelf in your apartment. You have to let people know you are a screenwriter and that you have a product to sell.

Through diligent networking, you may eventually come across someone who will get your screenplay into the right hands. Don’t be shy here. Be confident in your material and your abilities and be proud to label yourself as a screenwriter.

Screenwriting can be a fun, rewarding, and extremely lucrative career. But it’s a craft that must be learned and practiced before it ever can be mastered.

Would you like to publish your own book?

Maybe you want to write the Great American Novel. Maybe you want to publish a collection of grandma’s recipes from the old country. Maybe you want to publish a specialist monograph to boost your professional status.

Or maybe you have fantasies of become a rich and successful novelist, giving up the daily grind, and living a life of glamor in a house by the beach?

Whatever your reasons, it’s a dream or a fantasy of a lot of people. And here’s some good news.

These days it’s incredibly easy. Thanks to companies such as Lulu and Amazon’s Createspace, and ebook readers like the Kindle and the Kobo and the Nook, it is simple and straightforward to publish your own book, professionally and credibly.

And a surprising number of people are making a living at it.

Dan Dillon, director of product marketing at online publishing company Lulu.com, says a growing number of independent authors are selling well. The hottest genre, he says, is romantica, otherwise known as “Mommy Porn.” That’s following in the footseps of “Fifty Shades of Grey” author EL James, who began by publishing independently and has gone on to sell, reportedly, more than 100 million copies of her books about submissive sex.

“We have a whole bunch of (new) ‘E.L. James,'” Dillon says. “There’s a bunch of people publishing ebooks in the ‘romantica’ genre, and they’re killing it.”

Happily, self-publishing is not just for those who want to write about women who want to be tied up and whipped by billionaires.

My third book was about as far from erotica as it is possible to get – a biography of staid and dull presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which I wrote in advance of the election in 2012. And I published it independently. I didn’t sell many copies, as Romney lost the election. But my experience with The Romney Files taught me a huge amount about self-publishing.

In a nutshell: It is incredibly easy. I am no techie (I write with a fountain pen), but even I found it very simple to format and upload my manuscript, design the cover, publish both an electronic and a paper-based book, and put it up for sale on platforms such as Amazon. During the course of it I learned a lot about what to do, and what not to do. I am just finishing my next book, and I publish it myself as well.

The good news is, anyone can do this (The bad news is also that anyone can do this, so the marketplace is crowded).

No, you don’t need to go through a traditional publisher. My first two books – about gambling and personal finance – were published by mainstream publishers, and in case you’ve never done it I can’t say I am going to miss the experience.

Traditional publishers say they will “market” your book, but that hasn’t been my experience. Instead I’ve had to do the marketing myself. Traditional publishers generally devote most of their marketing muscle to the big-name authors who need it the least. For my second book, the publisher jacked the price of my book way up, simply in order to cover their costs. And they delayed publication by nearly a year, to fit their own schedule. The editing was done by some twelve year old and it was never clear what they wanted.

Traditional publishers will pay you an advance, but it’s generally a small amount. And the economics aren’t great. You will typically get 15% of the cover price of the print book, though a better share of the revenues of the ebook (which, of course, costs them almost nothing to produce).

Once upon a time, traditional publishers were essential because they basically controlled access to the bookshops. But in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t that many bookshops left. People shop online.

Meanwhile, if you publish your own book you will get the lion’s share of the revenue. I got 70% of the cover price of the ebook, and all of the revenue from the print edition minus the first $7 or so. I could also order plenty of “author’s copies” very cheaply which I could sell for whatever I wanted.

If you make, say, $7 profit per book, then clearly you won’t need to sell that many copies before you start to make some respectable money. If you sell more than a couple of thousand copies, you will probably get more than the advance that a traditional publisher is likely to give to an unknown author (there are a few, rare exceptions).

I don’t mean to dismiss mainstream publishers completely. I’m sure there are good ones out there. There are good editors, who work with new authors and help them build careers. There are publishers who merit their existence. But the better the publisher, the harder it is to get to taken on by them. Back in the day, a new author had to bang on a lot of doors just to find an agent willing to look at them – and then the agent had to bang on a lot of doors in the hope of finding a publisher willing to look at the manuscript. Most of the manuscripts from unknown authors were relegated to what the publishers called “the slush pile,” where they sat, unread. At most big publishing houses, that was the fate, for example, for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”

I’ve been researching self-publication ahead of my next book. And recently I spoke to Lulu’s Dan Dillon to learn more tricks of the trade and best practices. I will be sharing them here over the next few days. But the good news is: The next Lee Child – or E.L. James, or J.K. Rowling – could be you.

Thanks to companies such as Lulu and Amazon’s Createspace, and ebook readers like the Kindle and the Kobo and the Nook, it is simple and straightforward to publish your own book, professionally and credibly.

Most people are surprised that I used to be a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. So am I. (So were some of my colleagues at McKinsey, for that matter). Today I’m a…

Most people are surprised that I used to be a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. So am I. (So were some of my colleagues at McKinsey, for that matter). Today I’m a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. I’ve appeared on 60 Minutes, the NewsHour on PBS and numerous other radio and TV programs. I’ve also been a Fleet Street tabloid journalist, a research assistant at the London School of Economics, a Chartered Financial Consultant, and an extra on the stage at Covent Garden. I was educated at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and I’ve written three books nobody has read.

How to become a famous writer


Writing a book
is one of those experiences where simply just creating your own book is a reward in itself. But there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a major success either. We always hear breakthrough stories about authors like Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, Stephenie Meyer, or J.K. Rowling who become overnight successes and very wealthy.

If you want to become a successful author then here are some steps that must be taken in order to achieve that goal. Keep in mind that the road to mainstream success is a varied one, but these principles should apply to every writer who wants success.

The Steps Of A Successful Author

The first thing you need to know is that you MUST hone your craft. You wouldn’t try to sell paintings if the only thing you know how to draw is a stick figure would you? Writing is an art just like any other, so you need to develop your craft as much as possible. This means experimenting with different writing styles, figuring out how you approach subject matter, and most importantly developing your professional tone. A mastery of the language you write in is vital. It is only when you know the rules of language that you can break them.

While mastering your craft it is also a good idea to find the best audience that fits your genre and begin to build a following. Publishing has changed a lot over the past ten years with the internet becoming an increasingly viable (and often necessary) means of gaining success. Using online writing sites where users give feedback will not only help you build up readers, but it will give you an idea of what readers are looking for.

How to become a famous writerOne of the keys to becoming a successful author is finding the right balance between meeting commercial imperatives without compromising your vision as an author. After all, success is not worth much if you think of yourself as a sell-out. You need to remember that no author gains success by playing it safe.

J.K. Rowling is a prime example of an author who gives her fans what they want while sticking to her creative guns and throwing in great twists that readers did not see coming. Remember that you attain success and fans as a result of your creativity. On the other side of that coin it cannot hurt to know what your audience wants, so long as you do not fall into the trap of constant fan service. It may seem to be a situation where you are trying to have your cake and eat it as well, but it is a balance that every author must work towards striking.

Developing the ability to write quickly is also vital. While it is most important to get your book right as you writing it, when you are trying to get it published time is of the essence, especially if you have a book deal. Learning to write under the pressure of a deadline will also help to make you a more productive writer, and if you can write quickly as well as write well then you are more desirable to publishers and worth their investment in you.

One of the most difficult steps to becoming a successful author is actually getting your book published. There are several steps you can take to become published, but none of them are exactly easy. E-books are becoming increasingly popular, but because of the lack of expense that goes into them the market is heavily saturated. Another form is self publication, this takes a little bit of cash initially but a number of authors have proven that this method is becoming more of a promising option.

Another option that many find helpful is to submit your work to a publishing house. You could even find an agent to do this for you, there are plenty agents out there, if you have the quality and they believe in you then they will get your work to the right publishing house for you. Just know that this process can be a little longer and you may find it frustrating. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a rejection letter as there are many authors who wrote best selling works that were turned down multiple times before finally landing a book deal.

NY Times best selling author Robert Kiyosaki, the author of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ had his ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ book turned down by every publisher he approached and Barnes & Noble refused to stock his work initially. He decided to self publish the book and has sold over 26 million copies. This goes to show that you CAN make it happen by yourself, if you have quality work then others with promotional power ie.. Celebrities, Talk Shows, Radio Shows etc… Will spread the word of your amazing book which should in turn give you the leverage needed to move units.

Just remember, if you don’t self publish and you are going through a publishing house, be careful not to give away all your rights in your rush to get published. Take your publishing contract to an experienced lawyer who can explain all the terms before you decide to sign.

While being a well known author may seem like it should be easy enough once the big bucks are rolling in you need to keep in mind that fame won’t last without a solid building block to hold it up. The last thing you want to be is an author that is huge one day and gone the next. Whether you reach this stability through multiple sequels or through a just one timeless work of art it is completely up to you so long as you do eventually reach it in the end.

Checkout our article The Top 10 List Of The Highest Paid Authors to see how much a successful author really makes.

Would you like to publish your own book?

Maybe you want to write the Great American Novel. Maybe you want to publish a collection of grandma’s recipes from the old country. Maybe you want to publish a specialist monograph to boost your professional status.

Or maybe you have fantasies of become a rich and successful novelist, giving up the daily grind, and living a life of glamor in a house by the beach?

Whatever your reasons, it’s a dream or a fantasy of a lot of people. And here’s some good news.

These days it’s incredibly easy. Thanks to companies such as Lulu and Amazon’s Createspace, and ebook readers like the Kindle and the Kobo and the Nook, it is simple and straightforward to publish your own book, professionally and credibly.

And a surprising number of people are making a living at it.

Dan Dillon, director of product marketing at online publishing company Lulu.com, says a growing number of independent authors are selling well. The hottest genre, he says, is romantica, otherwise known as “Mommy Porn.” That’s following in the footseps of “Fifty Shades of Grey” author EL James, who began by publishing independently and has gone on to sell, reportedly, more than 100 million copies of her books about submissive sex.

“We have a whole bunch of (new) ‘E.L. James,'” Dillon says. “There’s a bunch of people publishing ebooks in the ‘romantica’ genre, and they’re killing it.”

Happily, self-publishing is not just for those who want to write about women who want to be tied up and whipped by billionaires.

My third book was about as far from erotica as it is possible to get – a biography of staid and dull presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which I wrote in advance of the election in 2012. And I published it independently. I didn’t sell many copies, as Romney lost the election. But my experience with The Romney Files taught me a huge amount about self-publishing.

In a nutshell: It is incredibly easy. I am no techie (I write with a fountain pen), but even I found it very simple to format and upload my manuscript, design the cover, publish both an electronic and a paper-based book, and put it up for sale on platforms such as Amazon. During the course of it I learned a lot about what to do, and what not to do. I am just finishing my next book, and I publish it myself as well.

The good news is, anyone can do this (The bad news is also that anyone can do this, so the marketplace is crowded).

No, you don’t need to go through a traditional publisher. My first two books – about gambling and personal finance – were published by mainstream publishers, and in case you’ve never done it I can’t say I am going to miss the experience.

Traditional publishers say they will “market” your book, but that hasn’t been my experience. Instead I’ve had to do the marketing myself. Traditional publishers generally devote most of their marketing muscle to the big-name authors who need it the least. For my second book, the publisher jacked the price of my book way up, simply in order to cover their costs. And they delayed publication by nearly a year, to fit their own schedule. The editing was done by some twelve year old and it was never clear what they wanted.

Traditional publishers will pay you an advance, but it’s generally a small amount. And the economics aren’t great. You will typically get 15% of the cover price of the print book, though a better share of the revenues of the ebook (which, of course, costs them almost nothing to produce).

Once upon a time, traditional publishers were essential because they basically controlled access to the bookshops. But in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t that many bookshops left. People shop online.

Meanwhile, if you publish your own book you will get the lion’s share of the revenue. I got 70% of the cover price of the ebook, and all of the revenue from the print edition minus the first $7 or so. I could also order plenty of “author’s copies” very cheaply which I could sell for whatever I wanted.

If you make, say, $7 profit per book, then clearly you won’t need to sell that many copies before you start to make some respectable money. If you sell more than a couple of thousand copies, you will probably get more than the advance that a traditional publisher is likely to give to an unknown author (there are a few, rare exceptions).

I don’t mean to dismiss mainstream publishers completely. I’m sure there are good ones out there. There are good editors, who work with new authors and help them build careers. There are publishers who merit their existence. But the better the publisher, the harder it is to get to taken on by them. Back in the day, a new author had to bang on a lot of doors just to find an agent willing to look at them – and then the agent had to bang on a lot of doors in the hope of finding a publisher willing to look at the manuscript. Most of the manuscripts from unknown authors were relegated to what the publishers called “the slush pile,” where they sat, unread. At most big publishing houses, that was the fate, for example, for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”

I’ve been researching self-publication ahead of my next book. And recently I spoke to Lulu’s Dan Dillon to learn more tricks of the trade and best practices. I will be sharing them here over the next few days. But the good news is: The next Lee Child – or E.L. James, or J.K. Rowling – could be you.

Thanks to companies such as Lulu and Amazon’s Createspace, and ebook readers like the Kindle and the Kobo and the Nook, it is simple and straightforward to publish your own book, professionally and credibly.

Most people are surprised that I used to be a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. So am I. (So were some of my colleagues at McKinsey, for that matter). Today I’m a…

Most people are surprised that I used to be a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. So am I. (So were some of my colleagues at McKinsey, for that matter). Today I’m a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. I’ve appeared on 60 Minutes, the NewsHour on PBS and numerous other radio and TV programs. I’ve also been a Fleet Street tabloid journalist, a research assistant at the London School of Economics, a Chartered Financial Consultant, and an extra on the stage at Covent Garden. I was educated at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and I’ve written three books nobody has read.

If you dream to be a famous writer, read our article and use our creative tips. Who knows, you could be the next best-selling author in the near future? We gather 15 steps you might want to follow to become a successful and famous writer
How to become a famous writer
It doesn’t matter what’s your age and profession when you want to be a writer. If this is how you feel yourself, then keep reading and follow our simple tips.

  1. Be confident in your decision . You have to make sure you really want it. Remember that nothing would work out if you just think “I may try to be a writer”, or “I am not sure I will be able to write, but maybe I should try”. But if you have a confident feeling inside about becoming a writer, then it’s time to continue reading.
  2. Read a lot. You probably want to be able to write as good as many great authors? Then as more you read, as more experience you get. You remember new words, look how the author build complex sentences and phrases, and improve your literature language.
  3. Practice a lot. But don’t start something huge, write a short book (up to 10-15 pages) on a topic you like. Expand this book when you have finished the task. Keep fulfilling this simple assignment with various kind of books (Fantasy, Politics, Action, etc.)
  4. Try to writeat least for 1-2 hours every day . Daily practice is very important because it helps to improve your skills in writing. Try to find a comfortable and quiet place where you can work without any distraction. Even if you have no possibility to write for many hours every day, create small stories or even poems on those days when you can’t spend a lot of time for this. Make your drafts and don’t try to edit them immediately. You can do the edit job later, remember that at start your main task is to write a lot. It is also important to proofread your works before publishing them. Check the grammar, the punctuation, or better yet get a professional Proofreader to check or improve your articles.
  5. Try to write your own journal. This is a great practice for beginner writers to get a feeling how it is to write. You should try various genres, such as non-fiction and fiction, news reports or fairy tales, romantic book or detective. Define the subject that attracts you the most.
  6. After you already have a lot of stories and articles, let people read them. Make your own blog or page, post your stories there. Also, post links on that page in your social network accounts, so other people could see and read it.
  7. Don’t let your hopes fall down, because it’s obviously that you won’t get millions of fans so fast. Be patient, wait, and continue to promote your web page. Check out if people leave comments, read your first feedback, and wait for more.
  8. Try to find various writers communities and groups on the Internet, and join them. There you can read a lot about what topics are popular to read in current time, and also ask for advice or give a tip to someone else.
  9. Write only about those things you are very interested about. If you are writing a book, try to describe all characters very clear, so readers could imagine and see them just that way as you described. Make all characters real, and let them express their emotions.
  10. Expand your vocabulary every day. You will see many new words when reading something, so don’t forget to learn them. Later, don’t forget to use new learned words in your daily writing.
  11. Upload your works to Internet resources such as Wattpad or Tumblr . You can tag your stories under different categories there, so readers will be able to find them.
  12. Advertise your blog through social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Over time, you may find out that many people started to red your stories / book / journal.
  13. Don’t forget to share your stories with your close friends, relatives, and family. They could give you some useful tips and new ideas about writing.
  14. If you have got a solid experience in writing for a long period, then you probably think about turning this thing into your business? This is a great idea, and it really can bring you some money. You can upload your stories to websites for writers that give readers access to read the entire book by paying a small sum of money. If your book is interesting enough and well-written, people may be interested in it, so over time, you could get some money for your work. If you are interested in writing various assignments for order, you should look for writing services that often are looking for talented writers to join their company. For example, check out the website admission-essay. People make their orders for creating various papers there, and if the company will be interested in cooperation, you could work with them.
  15. If your story or book have got a lot of positive feedback, you can try to publish it. It’s a long process and it may require a lot of time and some money too, but in result your readers will get your real book, and this would give you a great feeling that you really did something very valuable and useful for people. Find a good publisher, and you may wake up famous one day!

We do hope these tips would be helpful to you in making your writing career. Don’t give up on your way because you may fall down for several times before you get success. Remember that even the most talented and famous writers came through a long and difficult way to get on the top. Be ready to work hard for many hours, and enjoy your work!

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How to become a famous writer

Becoming a big shot, Hollywood screenwriter is a dream for many people, but most never take the necessary steps to become successful because they don’t see the profession as a craft. They see it as a way to get rich.

Granted, there are many screenwriters who have made millions of dollars over the courses of their careers. There are even a few “overnight successes” (if you don’t include the months or even years of toiling over their scripts before they became an “overnight success”). But for the most part, becoming a successful screenwriter is just like anything else of value—the result of hard work.

So, where does one start? We’ve outlined below some very basic steps to follow. Keep in mind that this is one possible path of many. The truth is, there is no one right or wrong way when seeking out a Hollywood writing career. Some things work for some people, but not for others. Some of it is luck, some of it is talent, and some of it is just never giving up. But if you’re looking for information on how to get started, the following steps should help provide a bit more direction.

Educate Yourself

Screenwriting isn’t just something to jump into. There are those exceptionally few writers who seem to understand the rhythm of a movie script and have an innate gift of dialogue from the start. But for the most part, new writers need to have a basic understanding of what it is they’re trying to write, and that means research.

One place to start is with some books on the topic. These will help provide an understanding of the basic structure of a movie script as well as how to go about writing its various elements—from creating interesting characters and plot to the development of engaging dialogue and proper story structure. These three books are a good start:

  • “Story Structure” by Robert McKee is the bible of story structure and the basics of the principles of screenwriting. A must read.
  • “Screenplay” by Syd Field is another must read by the one author that most Hollywood writers would agree is the master of the screenplay.
  • “Screenwriters Problem Solver,” also by Syd Field, is a follow-up to “Screenplay,” and Field takes readers through common problems many screenwriters confront and exercises to help fix them.

There are hundreds of books touting their screenwriting method as the best method. The fact is that once you know the basics of how to write a screenplay, you then need to practice doing so. Avoid books that claim to show you how to write a screenplay in 10 days or 20 days, or whatever. You need to learn about the mechanics of writing a script before worrying about how long it takes you to write one.

Read Successful Screenplays

Perhaps the most useful reference materials you can find are going to be sample scripts, especially those that are in the same genre you intend to write. For example, if you’re planning on writing a romantic comedy, get your hands on as many romantic comedy scripts as you can find. You will see that by having these scripts at the ready, you’ll soon begin to see how a film translates from a writer’s head into the finished product of a film.

Scripts can be purchased from places like Samuel French Bookstore, but you also might have luck with something as simple as Google. Search the title of just about any movie you can think of with the word “screenplay,” and you more than likely will find dozens of sites that will have exactly what you’re looking for.

If buying a script, be sure you get a full feature movie script rather than a “transcript.” A transcript is just a transcript of the dialogue of the film and won’t help you. You need a full feature script that you can refer to that shows dialogue, descriptions, and all action.

Start Writing

Depending on where you live, there might be a number of writing classes you can choose from, many of which specialize in screenwriting, but the most important step is to start writing. Too many people get caught up in the mechanics of screenwriting. They spend months, if not years, in classes and reading books on how to write a screenplay, but they never actually write anything.

So, after you get the basics down, start writing. Don’t overthink the process. Sit down at your computer, start typing the words, and print your screenplay. It’s what every screenwriter eventually does whether they’re a novice or a skilled professional.

Keep Writing

It is where many people get hung up. Once they start writing, they get stuck at a certain point and stop trying.

Some excuses might include a hiccup in the storyline, dialogue that isn’t working, or characters aren’t likable. All of these are valid issues, but none of them mean you should ever stop the writing process. As a screenwriter, you quickly will find that rewriting is about 80 percent of the job, if not more. The trick here is to avoid rewriting the same scene over and over without ever moving toward completion.

Too many writers fall into the trap of thinking that every page of the first draft must be perfect, but take comfort in this: First drafts of most screenplays usually are awful. The good news is that through your rewrites, they get much, much better. Forge ahead no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.

A good practice is to set page goals. For example, vow to finish at least five pages every day no matter what when working on a first draft. It can help you to finish the script without caring about the initial quality. After all, it’s sometimes easier to rewrite an existing script than to stare at a blank page.

Get Notes

“Getting notes” on a script refers to getting a little constructive criticism. Once you’ve finished with an acceptable draft of the screenplay, give it to three or four people whose opinions you trust.

Remember that what you’re looking for here is constructive criticism, not someone who tells you they “liked” or “disliked” your script. Usually, another writer will be the most useful for this process. Listen to the notes you get so that you can properly address them.

Network

Networking is still one of the most important skills a screenwriter can have. After all, this is more than likely how you’re going to get your script to an agent, producer, or studio executive.

In Los Angeles, there are numerous entertainment-related networking events. It’s crucial that as a screenwriter you attend as many of these as you can so you can meet like-minded individuals. Keep in mind that your script will not sell itself by sitting on a shelf in your apartment. You have to let people know you are a screenwriter and that you have a product to sell.

Through diligent networking, you may eventually come across someone who will get your screenplay into the right hands. Don’t be shy here. Be confident in your material and your abilities and be proud to label yourself as a screenwriter.

Screenwriting can be a fun, rewarding, and extremely lucrative career. But it’s a craft that must be learned and practiced before it ever can be mastered.

How to become a famous writer


Writing a book
is one of those experiences where simply just creating your own book is a reward in itself. But there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a major success either. We always hear breakthrough stories about authors like Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, Stephenie Meyer, or J.K. Rowling who become overnight successes and very wealthy.

If you want to become a successful author then here are some steps that must be taken in order to achieve that goal. Keep in mind that the road to mainstream success is a varied one, but these principles should apply to every writer who wants success.

The Steps Of A Successful Author

The first thing you need to know is that you MUST hone your craft. You wouldn’t try to sell paintings if the only thing you know how to draw is a stick figure would you? Writing is an art just like any other, so you need to develop your craft as much as possible. This means experimenting with different writing styles, figuring out how you approach subject matter, and most importantly developing your professional tone. A mastery of the language you write in is vital. It is only when you know the rules of language that you can break them.

While mastering your craft it is also a good idea to find the best audience that fits your genre and begin to build a following. Publishing has changed a lot over the past ten years with the internet becoming an increasingly viable (and often necessary) means of gaining success. Using online writing sites where users give feedback will not only help you build up readers, but it will give you an idea of what readers are looking for.

How to become a famous writerOne of the keys to becoming a successful author is finding the right balance between meeting commercial imperatives without compromising your vision as an author. After all, success is not worth much if you think of yourself as a sell-out. You need to remember that no author gains success by playing it safe.

J.K. Rowling is a prime example of an author who gives her fans what they want while sticking to her creative guns and throwing in great twists that readers did not see coming. Remember that you attain success and fans as a result of your creativity. On the other side of that coin it cannot hurt to know what your audience wants, so long as you do not fall into the trap of constant fan service. It may seem to be a situation where you are trying to have your cake and eat it as well, but it is a balance that every author must work towards striking.

Developing the ability to write quickly is also vital. While it is most important to get your book right as you writing it, when you are trying to get it published time is of the essence, especially if you have a book deal. Learning to write under the pressure of a deadline will also help to make you a more productive writer, and if you can write quickly as well as write well then you are more desirable to publishers and worth their investment in you.

One of the most difficult steps to becoming a successful author is actually getting your book published. There are several steps you can take to become published, but none of them are exactly easy. E-books are becoming increasingly popular, but because of the lack of expense that goes into them the market is heavily saturated. Another form is self publication, this takes a little bit of cash initially but a number of authors have proven that this method is becoming more of a promising option.

Another option that many find helpful is to submit your work to a publishing house. You could even find an agent to do this for you, there are plenty agents out there, if you have the quality and they believe in you then they will get your work to the right publishing house for you. Just know that this process can be a little longer and you may find it frustrating. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a rejection letter as there are many authors who wrote best selling works that were turned down multiple times before finally landing a book deal.

NY Times best selling author Robert Kiyosaki, the author of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ had his ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ book turned down by every publisher he approached and Barnes & Noble refused to stock his work initially. He decided to self publish the book and has sold over 26 million copies. This goes to show that you CAN make it happen by yourself, if you have quality work then others with promotional power ie.. Celebrities, Talk Shows, Radio Shows etc… Will spread the word of your amazing book which should in turn give you the leverage needed to move units.

Just remember, if you don’t self publish and you are going through a publishing house, be careful not to give away all your rights in your rush to get published. Take your publishing contract to an experienced lawyer who can explain all the terms before you decide to sign.

While being a well known author may seem like it should be easy enough once the big bucks are rolling in you need to keep in mind that fame won’t last without a solid building block to hold it up. The last thing you want to be is an author that is huge one day and gone the next. Whether you reach this stability through multiple sequels or through a just one timeless work of art it is completely up to you so long as you do eventually reach it in the end.

Checkout our article The Top 10 List Of The Highest Paid Authors to see how much a successful author really makes.

In mid-2014, I quit my job as an accountant and became a full-time writer. Sounds like a dream right?

How to become a famous writer

In many ways, becoming a full-time writer really has been a dream come true. Every day is exciting and I’m constantly growing and pushing myself. Would you like to write full-time in 2015 too?

If you want to become a full-time writer, here are five steps you can take:

1. Build Your Network

Connect with people you are naturally drawn to. Over time, authentic relationships will grow. Then when you need writing work, ask for it. The best options to contact others include Facebook messages, Twitter Direct Messages, Linked In messages, email, texting and phone calls. If you’re not sure who to contact, a general inquiry status on Facebook is a decent start. When you reach out to someone, keep track of the response on a spreadsheet. Be careful not to just contact people when you need something. Instead, stay in touch with your friends intentionally.

Here’s the secret no one tells you: you’ll likely have to say “yes” to some jobs you never pictured yourself doing. This is totally normal. Also know that many writing opportunities pay next to nothing. It’s possible you may have to pick up some of those. If you have a great network in place, you will spend more time writing and less time spent searching for new clients.

2. Manage Your Time

When you are the boss, you must have discipline. There is no way around it. Writing when you “feel like it” is a great way to have skinny kids, past due notices and a very unhappy landlord.

The timer will become your best friend as it lets you know how much time you have spent on a task. Otherwise, you could easily spend hours on “research” or social media. A great free app to consider is StayFocusd which is a plugin for the Google Chrome browser. It blocks time distracting apps after a set amount of time or just blocks them altogether.

Some days are simply more productive than others. To keep this in mind, measure your success in hours worked as well as words per day. Both metrics are important, not just the word count. Know you simply cannot write all the time. Your mental energy has to be refilled in some way, so spend some time with a book, exercise, take a nap and play with your kids. Again, use a timer or at bare minimum set aside some intentional time here.

3. Use the Right Tools

Figure out what works for you and use it. The less tools you use, the more mental energy you can devote to writing. For example, I use Microsoft Word for freelance work because it is required, Scrivener for ebooks and physical paper for outlines of rough drafts. Nothing else. If a change in tools is required, it is best to finish the current projects and then make the change. Otherwise, you slow yourself down when you try to learn how to use a new application and do your work.

4. Create Multiple Income Streams

Very few writers can live off just their books. Unless you have an entire library of popular books, you will need to diversify your income. Many writers choose freelance writing, speaking, editing or even teaching. I absolutely love the variety. And don’t forget—if you create great products, they can provide income for years to come.

5. Write A Lot

Talent isn’t enough. What matters is discipline. It is 10,000 times harder to be a full time writer than you think it will be. But it is totally worth it. Write intentionally and set a timer in specific amounts of time to maximize your efforts. I prefer the Pomodoro method because it is very similar to the “practice” used in the comments on this blog. You set a timer for twenty-five minutes and work until the time is up. After a five minute break, you work for another twenty-five minutes. This also is an easy way for you to know how much time you spend on a project.

A Final Word

Don’t fall for the myth that you have to be a full time writer to be a real writer. Albert Einstein wasn’t a full time scientist, he actually had a job at a patent office. This position gave him the income needed to live and in the evenings he worked on his dream. You alone determine your goals as a writer. If you want to become a full-time writer, by all means go for it. If you want to write and pursue other career choices, that is completely fine as well.

Do you want to become a full-time writer? Let us know in the comments section.

PRACTICE

For practice, do fifteen minutes of writing that you have been putting off. This will help you develop more discipline. If you want to go longer than fifteen minutes, by all means keep writing. The best part is this—as you you continue to build up your hustle muscle, you will find yourself writing more and more.

Don’t forget to share your work in the comments. How did it go? Did you spend more than fifteen minutes writing?