Writing a Screenplay

Writing a screenplay for film, television, or video games is a form of craft, which is one of the highest status and financially rewarding careers a writer could ever have.

Although there is overwhelming competition in Hollywood for professional screenwriters, it is still possible for a novice to start a career. The key is to create an appealing screenplay and give it to the hands of the right people.

There are several forms of screenwriting jobs such as:

  1. Spec Script Writing

Spec scripts refer to screenplays written on speculation. This means there is no payment from a production company, network or studio. This kind of tool is common in Hollywood. In fact, most of the scripts written are spec scripts although only very few are converted into films. In most cases, spec scripts are original works but they can also be adaptations.

  1. Feature Assignment Writing

Scripts of this type are usually made under contract with a production company, studio, or an individual. Generally feature assignment scripts are adaptations of an existing concept or property owned by the outsourcing company. They may also be original but created according to the ideas of the writer or producer.

  1. Rewriting and Script Doctoring

Most of the time, the original writer of the script does not create the whole film. Many screenplay writers make a living by rewriting scripts that seem to lack marketability. The client may or may not give credit to someone who rewrites depending on the amount of his contribution or on their agreement.

A writer who rewrites parts of the screenplay in the latter part of the development process is called a script doctor.

  1. Television Writing

A scriptwriter for television shows uses spec scripts or their earlier recognition to earn a contract of a particular TV show. This allows him or her to write one or more episodes. The script will undergo further rewriting when it is done.

  1. Video Game Writing

The increasing complexity of video games opens more doors for screenplay writers focusing in the field of video game writing. Screenplay writers of video games work with other game designers to make the characters, scenes and dialogues to be used.

Just as a musical score wherein the singer’s performance contributes greatly on how the written work is judged, the artist’s interpretation of your screenplay also determines how your script will be judged. The goal of every screenplay writer is to be able to induce the thoughts and emotions of the audience.


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