Ahh, wisdom. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to take advice from people who are more experienced than I am, instead of pretending like I know it all. Sometimes, it’s a hard pill to swallow, kind of like this screenwriting advice from script consultant Danny Manus. Manus has gained so much screenwriting wisdom that he can charge for it now through his company No BullScript Consulting, where he takes aspiring writers under his wing and teaches them the tricks of the trade.
But for you, today’s advice is free and simple. We asked Manus about some common screenwriter mistakes, and he did not hesitate to answer, “Boy, there are so many mistakes.” But he quickly narrowed in on two of the most common.
- Slow Down
Manus said the first mistake he sees is “submitting before you’re ready. Too many writers make the mistake of, ‘OK, I have a first draft of my first script, now I just need an agent, and I’ll be a million-dollar screenwriter!’ And those are the writers I like to call delusional,” he joked. “You have to do so many drafts. Get feedback from people who know what they’re doing. Find the process that’s going to work for you, from your outlining, writing, querying, pitching. Too many writers just rush all of those processes. And they’re never going to find success because they’re not ready to find success.”
The second biggest mistake? “They don’t do their research to know who they’re sending what to and why. And you really have to be focused in your approach,” Manus explained. “Know who you’re pitching. Know why you’re pitching them. Know how you’re going to pitch them. Know what you’re going to pitch them.”
Slow down, and focus, and be in it for the long haul.
Do it like your job depends on it,