Film Production

16 Steps for Planning and Writing Your Script: Step 6

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Step 6: A good writer is a good reader

Hi, my name is J.O. Booker and I am the scriptwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor of my very first upcoming short film called L.O.V.E.: A Four Letter Word. 


If you have been hanging with me these last 5 steps then you are definitely committed.  So, where are you today?  Yesterday was bright and sunny, today is cool and overcast.  Has the weather affected your thinking?  I want you to think of this and write it down because when we begin brainstorming for our script or novel, these conditions will also determine how the characters in that script or novel of yours will feel.  This is why it is so important to write everyday, even when you don’t want to write. 

In fact, the prime times when inspiration sneaks up on us is when we least expect.  This is what separates amateur writers from professional writers.

Amateurs have the romantic view of writing as something that you do only when you get inspiration or when you feel comfortable.  Professional novelists and screenwriters know that in order to write well you must write all the time until the act becomes as natural as speaking.

In fact, writing’s harder than speaking because it requires greater organization, whereas speaking is often disorganized and undisciplined.  And like mastering any discipline you will often feel uncomfortable until it becomes a real habit and when doing it becomes as unconscious as tying your shoe-laces.

Journaling is exercising our mental muscles, the more we do it the stronger we’ll become. 

 In fact, the prime times when inspiration sneaks up on us is when we least expect.

You must also read to acquire not only knowledge and inspiration for your idea, but also an understanding of how the syntax (the order of our selected words )of your prose helps your readers to see what you see.

For screenwriters, you will be working with actors, directors, camera operators, etc., who will be using your script as a blueprint.  For novelists, reading helps you to distinguish complicated writing from simple, straightforward writing.

To paraphrase Stephen King from his book On Writing: A good writer is a good reader!


A great deal of your ideas will come from reading literature, including newspapers.  So, Journal and read an hour or more everyday.  This may not seem like much, but like the tortoise and the hare, winning the race is about consistency!  One more step of journaling before we start going over ideas we’ve gotten, selecting the best one, and begin brainstorming!


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