Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

Comedian and TV Writer Monica Piper’s 5 Pieces of Advice for New Screenwriters

If you’ve found your way to this blog because you’ve recently decided to try your hand at screenwriting, you’re in the right place! Whether you write for fun or for the chance that you might make a living at it someday, it’s always nice to hear advice from other talented writers who have had successful careers. Today, that advice comes from Emmy Award-winning comedian, TV writer, and producer Monica Piper.

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Piper has had her hand in TV shows such as “Roseanne,” “Rugrats,” “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” and “Mad About You,” so her specialty is comedy, but her wide range of advice below applies to just about any writer.

“What advice would I give to someone today who wants to be a screenwriter,” she began.

  1. “Are you in it for the long haul? Because it’s not a quick process.”

  2. “If you’re going to write with a partner, make sure that you’re both working or not working at the same time.”

  3. “Don’t keep going back, because nothing is as daunting as that blank page, so just spit out that first draft, no matter how bad it is.”

  4. If you’re writing a comedy, “Decide what kind of comedy it is – like a Farrelly Brothers kind of comedy? Three to six jokes on a page. But if it’s a romantic comedy, you don’t need as many jokes. You need a story."

  5. “Look at the story as a bracelet. You need the bracelet before you can put the charms on it, and the jokes are the charms.”

Piper’s most recent project just wrapped up in 2019, concluding an extended run of her off-Broadway autobiographical theater show “Not That Jewish.”

She’s just one of many screenwriters that we’ve interviewed on this topic, so if you’re craving more professional advice, don’t miss these SoCreate videos, too:

Learn from their experience,

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