Depending on where you’re at in your screenwriting craft, you may have considered hiring a script consultant. Also called script doctors or script coverage (with varying definitions of what, exactly, each provides), consultants could be a valuable tool if you know how to use them. I wrote a blog about the topic where you can learn more, including pointers about the best way to choose a consultant that’s right for you.
If you’re on the fence about consultants and you’ve got about a minute, watch this interview with screenwriter Jeanne V. Bowerman. She explains how she used consultants early in her career, and with a career like hers - she’s now Editor-in-Chief at Script Mag, senior editor at Writer’s Digest, and founded ScriptChat - she’s someone you can trust! Watch and learn.
“Script consultants get a bad rap. I used them in the beginning, more, of my writing career. I didn’t go to film school. I went to Cornell Hotel school. And I owned a hotel and restaurant for 15 years, and I wasn’t a trained writer. I always viewed script consultants the same way I would look at a tutor for one of my kids for a class that they might be struggling in. I would choose ones that had great reputations, really good testimonials. I also think it’s really great to learn how to take notes. They teach you and train you how to take notes, and that is a huge part of the job of screenwriting, is learning how to say ‘oh, I hear what you’re saying. I’ll think about that,’ and then adjust to make the changes and make the story better. So, I think they’re really good practice for working with producers and also just helping you elevate your craft. I think when you find a really good one, they can be invaluable, and you can learn a lot from them.”