The Writer In The Middle: How To Avoid Being Seen As A Rookie And Break Into The Ranks Of The Pros

step one learn to pitch hand

Hollywood has three main categories of writers.

At the bottom, there are millions of people who aspire to write movies or television. Most of them do not have the talent or the desire to make it. They’re the rookies, and decision-makers avoid them.

At the top, there are the professional writers who are being paid quite well, even after just breaking in. As you can imagine, there are several subcategories of professionals, from emerging voices such as Michael Werwie and Evan Daughterty, to A-listers such as John August.

Then….

There’s a group in the middle.

The Writer In The Middle

The middle category contains the committed, talented people who have the ability to do professional work. They may even have had some small amount of professional success. But for one reason or another, they can’t get the right doors to open.

One problem is:

Writers in the middle often look and sound like rookies.

Are You In The Middle?

  • Do you feel like you have more talent and experience than the average Hollywood wanna-be?
  • Do you obsessively watch movies, read scripts, and pore over books about screenwriting?
  • Do you keep track of your ideas, develop projects, and most of all—do you write?

If so, you’re probably a writer in the middle, and you know what? It’s time to break out—and up—into the ranks of the pros.

The quickest and most effective way to do this is to learn to pitch.

  • Pitching improves your creative process: Pros often write 2-3 saleable scripts every year. That’s why before they write, they test pitches to select their best ideas, then test versions of one pitch to hone their story’s DNA.
  • Pitching makes it easier to get meetings: When you get good at pitching, you can intrigue decision-makers to set a meeting with you to learn more.
  • Pitching develops confidence: When you pitch with confidence, people listen and hear your ideas in the best possible light.

If you aren’t good at pitching, you’re probably being seen as a rookie. That’s the bad news. The good news is—you can learn to pitch, and it might be easier than you think.

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