Screenwriting is usually a lonely journey, but finding a community of screenwriters, like our very own, Write Club, that support, and relate to one another can provide a significant amount of encouragement and inspiration. Whether you’re a seasoned screenwriter with screenplays that have been produced or a first-timer venturing into the screen world for the first time, a writing group can offer a supportive environment of like-minded people who share a passion for telling stories.
What is a screenwriting group?
A screenwriting group is a circle of writers who meet regularly, either in person or virtually, to discuss story and everything screenwriting, read their works or the works of others, and get valuable feedback from others who share the same skill but may have differing perspectives.
Benefits of joining a screenwriting group
Gain new perspectives
Because screenwriting, like many other forms of writing, is a solo endeavor, it’s very easy to get stuck in a vacuum of only your ideas and perspectives. While it’s important that your perspective is the most trusted, as the writer, sometimes bouncing your thoughts off other skilled screenwriters can offer you a new and valuable way of looking at your story or even the way you go about writing your screenplays. This can improve your story structure, writing methods, character development and so much more.
Get needed feedback on your work
Like getting new perspectives, getting feedback is always needed in screenwriting, no matter your experience level. Screenwriting, as creative as it is, is a very technical form of writing since it’s for a very technical medium- film. Getting feedback from other writers in a screenwriting group can bring much needed insight into your formatting, story structure, plot points, story beats and character wants and dramatic needs. Unlike writing a novel, screenplays are essentially more “show” and less “tell”, and getting feedback, especially for an early career writer can help you develop your “show” skills and leave behind the “tell" that other mediums of writing require.
One of the most important benefits of joining a screenwriting group is accountability, especially for those writing spec scripts. A spec script is an uncommissioned and unsolicited screenplay that the screenwriter hopes to pitch and sell for production. Without the work being commissioned, it can sometimes become challenging to stick to self-set deadlines as we rarely impose consequences on ourselves. When you set writing goals for yourself, sharing them with a group can minimize procrastination and encourage you to meet targets as others are counting on you to do so.
Filmmaking is a collaborative process, rarely have people made films completely alone (although it does happen), so a very important key to a successful film career is networking. Getting your foot in the door can be dependent on who you know. Once you’ve mastered the skill of screenwriting, it’s important to get out there and meet people who can put a good word in for you in the rooms you’ve never been in, and joining a screenwriting club can help you find lifelong industry friends who will vouch for you for writing jobs, or other film jobs, or collaborate with you on project. This goes without saying for every film industry job out there.
Once you’ve aced everything there is to know about screenwriting and you’ve written a great script, what’s next? You have to learn the business. While the journey into the industry is almost never the same for two people, learning how others got their foot in the door can help you try different techniques to get your script read. Screenwriting groups like Write Club are open to all levels of experience, giving those who are a little greener in the industry, the opportunity to learn from seasoned screenwriters, and offering screenwriters with some productions under their belts, the opportunity to mentor those just starting out.
Regardless of your experience level, joining a screenwriting club can benefit your writing abilities, expand your network and hold you accountable to the long screenwriting journey ahead of you. Become a better writer by joining Write Club for free.