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45 Script Writing Skills Every Writer Should Have

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July 4, 2014 6 comments
screenwriting skills

Yes, some script writing skills involve raw talent, but becoming a professional screenwriter also involves many screenwriting skills and attributes which can be learned, honed and developed.

How many of the following script writing skills and attributes do you have? Use our checklist below to find out. In order to achieve any level of success in your screenwriter career, will you definitely need… 

Script Writing Skills: Mastering The Craft

1. To be able to develop interesting and original story ideas and concepts.

2. To be able to develop multiple plot lines.

3. To understand the meaning of an inciting incident

4. To understand structure within scenes, sequences and acts. 

5. To be able to develop realistic characters who we care about. 

6. To be able to clearly convey character motivations and actions. 

7. To be able to write with realism.

8. To be able to write scenes with reversals that move the story forward. 

9. To be able to write script dialogue with subtext.

10. To be able to absorb the work and style of successful writers.

11. To be innovative. 

12. To take risks and push boundaries. 

13. To understand pacing. 

14. To have  a clean and simple writing style.

15. To be able to show not tell and write visually for the screen.

16. To be able to express a screenplay theme

17. To be able to deliver genre expectations. 

18. To be able to subvert genre expectations.

script writing skills

Script Writing Skills: Practicality

19. To write every day.

20. To read the best screenwriting books and blogs on screenwriting.

21. To research the best screenwriting contests for your screenplay.

22. To listen to the best screenwriting podcasts.

23. To research a screenplay’s subject matter, world and characters.

24. To watch and analyze many great films. 

25. To write outlines of many great films.

26. To read screenplays. A LOT of them.  

27. To know a bit about human psychology. 

28. To understand commerciality and be able to write for the marketplace. 

29. To be able to write synopses, outlines, treatments, loglines and pitches.

30. To be able to write query letters. 

31. To research and know how to sell a screenplay.

32. To be open to every opportunity.

33. To be forthright and confident. 

34. To be able to pitch in a meeting. 

35. To be the person people want to work with. 

36. To be able to take criticism. 

37. To not get too “close” to your work.

38. To be able to to rewrite. Fast. 

39. To be able to persevere and take rejection after rejection. 

40. To be able to survive on an unsteady income. 

41. To be comfortable being alone and inside your own head. 

42. To understand the business.

43. To move to LA (if possible). 

44. To have contacts in the business.

45. To possibly have made some short films and put your writing into practice.

This is a list of script writing skills and qualities you should be working toward cultivating every day. 

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Let us know in the comments section what you think of our list. Are there any script writing skills you think we’ve left out? Which would you say you’re proficient in, and which need more work? 

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6 Comments
  1. Edmond says:

    Why move to LA?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You can see our reasons here: https://www.scriptreaderpro.com/moving-to-la/

  2. Felicie says:

    Good question why to move to LA?

  3. Vitthal b ambhure says:

    Hi
    Thank u for give lot of important imformation about script writing skill..
    I had write a script..
    Plz give some contacts.. For sold screept….

    Give me advise

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi, have you seen this post “How to Sell a Screenplay”?

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