A couple years ago, I was freelancing for a few different screenwriting-centric websites. I was fortunate enough to gain entrance to screenwriting conferences in Los Angeles to report on the panels for the different websites and was very surprised by what I saw. On the very first day, I found myself staying hours after the last panel to sit with a group of about thirty writers from all over the country who had questions about the industry and how to break in. This was the reason they were all attending the convention and still their questions were not being answered! In the past few months, I’ve joined several private groups for writers at different levels of trying to jumpstart their screenwriting careers and I’m already seeing the same questions popping up.
How do you get an agent? How do I sell my screenplay? How do you plot your story? Which is more important, character or structure? Are screenwriting competitions or consultants worth it?
The things is, you can get all of these answers online. I went to college to get a degree in screenwriting. Halfway into it, my classmates and I would lament that it only needed to be a two-year program, but the truth was that I needed all four years. I needed it to be able to focus and really dedicate my time to it and surround myself with other creative types. Now with the resources on the internet, I don’t think you need to spend the money on all the books and degrees. It can be amazingly helpful and inspiring, but it’s not the only path. But it would sure be a lot easier if some of the resources were all in one place so below I’ve put together a few that I find myself going back to over and over again, and I will continue to add to this as I think of more.
*If you’re looking for a quick structure breakdown (film v. TV), click here. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my own on this list.