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Home > Blog > Do You Want to be a Screenwriter?
Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 2:58 PM
Do You Want to be a Screenwriter?
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work

That must be a top career fantasy. Have you noticed that during and just after the winter holidays, lots of books about how to write a screenplay start hitting bookstore shelves? (You don't, by comparison, start seeing a flood of books on how to be an accountant.) My guess is a lot of people spend the break between Christmas and New Year's reflecting on:

* their jobs aren't creatively fulfilling;
* they don't have much job flexibility;
* they'd love to make a big pile of money;

What better way to solve all three than by getting a screenplay turned into a hit movie. I wonder how many book buyers actually finish (or even start) a screenplay.


3 comments

Whitney - 12/22/2005 12:51:19 AM
I used to want to write a screenplay, adapted from a favorite book. Then I watched three seasons of 'Project Greenlight,' a lot of behind-the-scenes documentary footage on DVDs, and the Nicholas Cage/Meryl Streep movie 'Adaptation' -- and started having serious second thoughts. It's discouraging to hear about the screenwriters whose screenplays have been twisted, stretched, and distorted beyond recognition from their original version.

Screenplays aren't easy to write, but for some reason, people think they're easy. Someone who can write a really good novel or short story can't necessarily write a good screenplay -- and vice versa. Even if you can get one written, getting someone to buy it is even harder.

I agree with MaryAn...anyone who gets into screenwriting (or novel writing or short story writing or playwriting) solely for the money, fame, and glory is going to be more likely to fail than someone who just wants to tell a good story. The greed always shows through.

I always wondered why more people didn't want to become travel writers. A lot more fun...and you can claim a lot as a business expense.
MaryAn - 12/21/2005 10:08:12 PM
Wannabe screenwriters are increasing in numbers by the thousands as speak. Most of them want to make a pile of money or find a genie in a magic lamp to help them escape from a bad, boring or unfulfilling job. They will all fail. But there are those real writers who aren't looking for anything but a venue for writing a good story and screenwriting seems like a better fit for them than novels or short stories. They have a good chance of success.
MaryAn - 12/21/2005 10:07:36 PM
Wannabe screenwriters are increasing in numbers by the thousands as speak. Most of them want to make a pile of money or find a genie in a magic lamp to help them escape from a bad, boring or unfulfilling job. They will all fail. But there are those real writers who aren't looking for anything but a venue for writing a good story and screenwriting seems like a better fit for them than novels or short stories. They have a good chance of success.

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