Top tips for writing scripts

Our June speaker, Lucy Scher of The Script Factory, gave us some great insights into screenwriting that works – here are her top tips:

To improve your writing:
1. Read to learn from great scripts – note how they work, why they work.
2. Know what your script is really about? What is its meaning?
3. Send the script only when it’s the best it can be, and you are ready to talk about it confidently.
4. Be flexible – be ready to change things.
5. Include only what is relevant to the story.

Your pitch:
1. Send only your script with a pitch letter.
2. Your pitch letter should include:
a) Your reasons for sending to them: for instance, you’ve heard them speak, or admire their work.
b) Summarise the script and who you are.
c) Tell them what you want them to do for you: for the producer to read it/consider it/pass it on to someone.
d) Don’t chase for an answer, only ask for an acknowledgement of receipt.
e) Be patient, it can take up to 3 months to be read.

Common mistakes to avoid:
1. Typos/spelling and grammatical errors.
2. Binding the script – DON’T do it, keep it looseleaf but DO number the pages.
3. Don’t list how many drafts you have written on the front.

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