The 4 Skills You Need to Become a Better Writer

Be creative and original

I know it may sound an obvious one, but you’ll be surprised how many beginning screenwriters don’t understand that. They watch a lot of films and try to do the same thing. Creating something new (in any field) is not easy at all. Developing creativity is a subject that many books have been written about. There is no formula to be creative, but you can practice a few exercises that will help the muse to show up at your door. Here are some tips to boost your creativity

  • Read about other writers – This is a good one. You really should start with reading about how other writers work. Hear or read interviews with other writers, and write down every tip they talk about, that you believe will work for you too. 
  • Use meditation – Feeling blocked? Try some meditation. The mind works great when it is unattached to any of the daily thoughts and that’s what meditation does. Meditating is good at preventing: stress and anxiety that creates writer’s block. It is really easy to meditate. Sit still in a comfortable chair or on a pillow on the floor. Now, start focusing on your breath. While focusing on your breath, you might be tempted to control it. Don’t! Your body knows how to breathe without your help. Start with 2 minutes of meditation and make it longer each time. You’ll see quickly how it will boost your creative writing
  • Practice free writing – Every writing session should start with a 5 minutes practice of free writing. Choose a random subject and start writing about it. The idea is to write without thinking too much. Simply write!

There are many tricks like that, but as said before, there are no formulas. The important thing is that you, as a writer, will insist on being original. Do not give in to any temptation to repeat something that was already made

Be a better storyteller 

Again, sounds obvious, but so many beginner writers fail at this one and many screenwriting courses miss to talk about. You may love to tell stories, but that doen;t mean you know how to fo it right. A good storyteller is one that holds the listeners’ interest and builds feelings of connection with them. Here are some tips that will help you do that”

  • Have a point for your story – Before you tell the story, you need to understand why should the audience want to listen to it
  • How does the story make you feel –  Be honest about it
  • Personally connect with it – Find a place you can expose something from yourself in it.
  • Be aware of your audience – If your story is offensive, are you sure, your audience can take it. Always remember your target audience when you write your story

Learn to observe

As a writer, you can’t allow yourself not to pay attention to the world. Stop looking at the floor while you’re walking! Being a good observer means to be able to see everything that goes around you. This is how you do that:

  • Start with paying attention, when you observe people or a situation, put all your attention in that. 
  • Walk with a notebook – Start walking with a notebook and take notes. You can also copy the notes to your computer and arrange them by categories. 
  • Try new things – When you’re doing new things your mind is more alert. Use that to improve your observation skills.

Learn to collaborate

You can’t write a script just for the sake of writing a script. You write a script to become a movie. That’s why you need to learn how to collaborate with others: with the director, the producer, the stars of the film, etc.

Sometimes you may find yourself writing a screenplay with a partner, or maybe you are adopting the script from an already written story, and you need the original writer to work with you. The main thing you need to remember is that working in a collaborative environment will produce more and much faster. Don’t compete with your partners-work with them. Here are the steps to build a collaborative environment:

  • Identify and be realistic about your partners strengths and vulnerabilities. This is what the Cohen Brothers do.
  • Define goals and expectations – it is recommended to make sure you all are on the same page for the final result. If possible even sign a contract and mark the percentages for each on
  • Build Trust – You can’t work with someone you don’t trust. You need to trust your partner to be authentic and honest about the ideas you both come up with, and that no ones judge ideas from his or her ego.

Working with partners takes a lot of efforts, but it has its advantages too. It makes the writing reacher and much more enjoyable. You get a instant reaction for every idea you come up with. Be prepared for some failures too. Eventually, the only way to find out if you are working with the right partner is by working together.