John Dough December 5, 2002 Essay 4 Have you ever sat in a movie theater for well over two hours and just realized that you just wasted your life. That is most likely because the screenwriter did not do his or her job. A screenwriter is responsible for writing movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment. As a screenwriter good writing skills are very important. Good writing skills are the foundation that you need. In addition as a screen writer you have the responsibility to entertain, inform, and persuade an audience, without the skills you will fail. The last reason is that writing is your job, and if you do not have good writing skills you would not have a job.
The types of writing done by a screenwriter are screenplays and other forms of writing that are then transferred to either television or into a movie. In order to begin they just cannot write a major motion picture.
They need to stat small, with possibly a story or an essay. Even before they do that screenwriters have to learn their own style and basic writing skills. As a screenwriter the foundation of your practice is to have good writing skills. According to Jay Geller, many times having the basic writing skills is forgotten (p1). As a writer you need to have proper grammar and spelling. These would be acquired in a creative writing class or different English class. Going to far with English classes may get you in trouble. Screen writing has its own style and writing like you would a novel will get you nowhere, "Writing is writing, except in Hollywood" (screenwriting.exercises.com).
In your basic English classes you would also develop your own style of writing. To develop your own style is very important, this is what will separate you from the other screenwriters in the field. Good writing skills is the first building step in creating your own piece as a writer.
As a screenwriter you have the responsibility to entertain, inform and persuade an audience. The most important of those three is to entertain. As you develop your skills as a writer you will learn how your unique style will entertain few or many. It is important to entertain many, because when your piece is finally put on the big screen the more entertaining and captivating your writing is the more that will want to see your movie. You also have the responsibility to inform an audience, but at the same time keep it entertaining. The screenwriter constantly has to be writing on new material that the ardencies has not seen or heard about yet (Seger 37). The screenwriter has to tell a story that has not been heard, an idea that has not been expressed, or a vision that has not been seen. The screenwriter also has the ability to persuade an audience. With good writing skills they have the opportunity to change the way a person will think, at the same time it is kept entertaining, which keeps the audiences attention. If some one was to give a speech on gun control a audience member could loose interest, but with a movie with a well written screenplay an audience members attention is kept as well as their view on that subject changed. Screenplays after being brought to the big screen could reach a large audience that could reach world wide. Giving the screenwriter the ability to express his message to many people. With good writing skills the audience also will have a better understanding of the topic. When you receive the basic skills of how to organize your work will be better understood by the audience member.
Above most of all as a screenwriter your job is simply to write. With out having the basic skills as a writer that is similar as a barber without a pair of scissors. If you simply do not know how to write in the end will not get a paycheck Your job is directly affected by it. Also as a screenwriter you have the ability to have success and even a little possible fame. If you did not have the basic skills of a writer you could kiss that success goodbye. If a production company read a screenplay that was poorly written, even though it had a great concept, the production company would throw it out in a heartbeat (Feild 2). With great writing skills you also have a opportunity to get a reputation as a great writer. this though could also work against you. If you got in to the field with poor writing skills you would be known as a poor writer and would be rejected even if you improved, just for your past reputation. The field of screenwriting is also very crowded, and you will have to have great writing skills to put yourself above the other writers. Finally screen writing involves a lot of writing. You will need to have two fully written screenplays before you even enter the field. It's a major mistake for most new screenwriters to write only one script and begin the marketing phase with that one script (Frensham 29).
So next time you see a horrible movie keep in mind that the screenwriter did not do his or her job. They did not have the basic foundation of their job. They did not entertain, inform, nor did they persuade the audience. Also if the rest of the audience hated the movie as much as you did then the movie will most likely fail. So that screenwriter will probably never work in the business again. Because of all these reasons a screen writer must have, not just good but, great writing skills. A screenwriter gives so many opportunities to become successful and pass a message or a story to many people. Without great writing skills none of that could be accomplished.