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The Secret to Your Script''s Success

The Secret to Your Script''s Success

To survive the fantasyland that is show business, you need to know the fundamentals and hard truths of scriptwriting and selling. More importantly, you need to know the tricks of the trade that can only come from years of experience.

The screenwriters and producers who have contributed to this issue have learned to use these insider tools and tricks of the trade the hard way. With their help, you''ll learn them without the blood, sweat and tears.

In this issue, you''ll find articles on writing query letters that can get your script out of the drawer and into the world, tips on writing great opening scenes, and information on how to turn a novel into a screenplay.

Plus, you''ll see the importance of distinguishing yourself, through professionalism and scriptwriting know-how, from the wannabes. We take an in-depth look at what producers, agents and contest judges want from scriptwriters, and give you advice on agents and Web sites for selling scripts.

This issue is packed with everything from a users'' guide for script-formatting software, to a chart detailing feature film plot structure and turning points.

As if that weren''t enough, scriptwriting professors from major film schools answer your questions and give you pointers on how to craft memorable scenes and avoid common writing traps.

What''s more, we bring you profiles and personal advice from some of today''s most successful scriptwriters.

Perhaps the biggest secret to scriptwriting is actually writing the scripts. There are far too many people who think they can sell an "idea" for a film without doing any work. Barry Kemp, one of the producers who speaks in a round-table discussion in this issue, says, "It''s like an athlete saying, ''you know, I don''t like to practice, I just like to play the game.'' It doesn''t really happen that way."

So, with the scriptwriter in mind, we''ve also included a resource guide filled with more than 100 Web sites for general scriptwriting information, software, organizations, contact information for production companies, film festivals, contests and more!

Whether you plan to write and produce the next Oscar-winning feature film or sell your services as a writer for an existing television show, I hope the articles in this magazine provide you with everything you need to get your foot in the door and make your scriptwriting fantasies come true.

This article appeared in the August 2001 issue of Scriptwriting Secrets.

From Script

Adapting True Crime and True Stories for Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers and showrunners Robert Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis (“Pam & Tommy”), Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah (“The Girl from Plainville”) who both have taken creative liberties in adapting true stories for a limited series.

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Author Chanel Cleeton discusses how reader curiosity led her to write her new historical fiction novel, Our Last Days in Barcelona.

Writer's Digest Interview | Marlon James Quote

The Writer's Digest Interview: Marlon James

Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James talks about mythology and world-building in his character-driven epic Moon Witch, Spider King, the second book in his Dark Star Trilogy in this interview from the March/April 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: New Podcast Episode, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our newest podcast episode, your chance to be published, and more!

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

Award-winning novelist David Adams Cleveland discusses the timeliness of his new novel, Gods of Deception.

Lisa Jewell | Writer's Digest Interview Quote

The WD Interview: Lisa Jewell

The New York Times-bestselling British author discusses creating thrilling plot twists and developing characters in her 19th novel, The Night She Disappeared, in this interview from the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

Author Anat Deracine found her agent at Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. Now she’s sharing what she’s learned to help other writers become authors. Here are her 5 tips for successfully pitching literary agents in person.

Tips for Reading Poetry in Front of an Audience

8 Tips for Reading Your Poetry in Front of an Audience

Poet's Market editor and published poet Robert Lee Brewer shares eight tips for reading your poetry in front of an audience.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character lose their powers.