Peter Hanson and Paul Robert Herman. Tales from the Script. New York, N.Y.: It Books, HarperCollins Publishers, 2010.
The book notes that screenwriters are usually kept from the prioduction end of the movies. Writers such as Diablo Cody are becoming involved in seeing their scripts handled past the writing stage.
Few scripts are ever produced. Writers who attempt to mimic others are other unsuccessful. There is little universal advice for screenwriters. There is no formula that guarantees success.
A screenplay is not literature meant for a reader. It presents the images and dialogue of a visual medium.
Joe Forte notes screenwriters need to know the limitations of their writing screenplays versus writing other areas such as novels. They need to maximize the limited available tools of showing stories and not writing long detailed writings.
Kris Young observes there is a rhythm to screenplays. Much of screenwriting can't be taught. Successful screenwriters need to find their successful voice and rhythm. Screenwriters must aspire to become a writer, which requires much self-motivation.
Mike Binder argues screenwriters need to believe in themselves. Rejection is common, should be expected, and should not be detriments to continuing writing.
Linda Voorhees warns industry officials after reject scripts in a nice manner. Yet their niceties are often not what they really think about how much they disliked the script.
The movie industry seeks greatness. Greatness, though, is found in many different forms that are not predictable,
Naomi Febder notes great movies touch a chord. A writer needs to find the true inner chord and project it.
Kat O’Brien notes a screenplay requires a strong story and commercial potential.
Andrew Marlowe describes screenwriting as a profession where you never really succeed. You always fail at a higher level." Even if one writes a hit movie, one is expected to write another hit.
Screenwriters need to realize their scripts may and usually are altered. Screenwriters may have no say in these changes. Writers should anticipate this. They should be prepared to make alterations in their rewrites to fit studio expectations. They must accept that other writers may rewrite their scripts. Directors will make adaptations to fit their directorial visions.
Justin Zackham notes that the lead character has to be interesting and good at being interesting in a manner that attracts or repels the audience. They need to change during an arc in the story,
Reputations are important. A writer should be known for delivering and for being able to work with others. Writers who are difficult, threatening law suits, and fail to meet deadlines may develop bad reputations that follow them and hurt their careers.
The Writers Guild handles arbitration decisions and who gets credit as a movie's screenwriters. David Ward observes he didn't get a credit even though he had written 85% of that script's dialogue.
Many screenwriters become directors to retain control over changes in their scripts.
Screenwriters often find their reward in knowing their stories affected people. Their reward tend not to be in fame, nor in seeking their work completed as they intended. Many screenwriters see their work as a craft and they strive to perfect their craft.
Ron Shelton states "Bull Durhan" was written with one draft over 10 weeks. Antwone Fisher wrote 42 drafts on one movie. Gerald DiPego envisions a script for three weeks to a month before he starts writing.