45 Script Writing Skills Every Aspiring Screenwriter Should Own.

Master these skills and give yourself a jumpstart over other aspiring screenwriters.

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by Script Reader Pro in Screenwriter Career
July 4, 2014 14 comments

45 script writing skills every aspiring screenwriter should own. 

Yes, some screenwriting 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… 

Screenwriting skills on 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 on 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 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


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? 

script writing skills

Liked this post? Read more about the script writing skills you’ll need to break into the industry…

How to Sell a Screenplay: 6 Most Popular Ways New Writers Make a Sale

How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Guide to Unlocking Your Career

How to Get a Screenwriting Agent and Manager in 10 Proven Steps

[© Photo credits: Unsplash]


    I wish I could see a sample of a written screen play and I learn how to arrange my stories

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      We have a number of posts where you can read and download professional screenplays. Here’s 50 to get you started 🙂

  2. Patrick says:

    #26 is so critical. I read 52 screenplays so far this year.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      That’s great, Patrick – that will have really helped your writing 🙂

  3. Albert Jameson says:

    #46 – don’t even start its not worth the headache!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Good luck, Albert!

  4. Stuart says:

    Normally I do not learn post on screenwriting blogs, however this write-up has forced me to reconsider just where Im at so thank you .

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Stuart.

  5. Vitthal b ambhure says:

    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”?

  6. Felicie says:

    Good question why to move to LA?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Have you seen this post>

  7. Edmond says:

    Why move to LA?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You can see our reasons here:

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