How Does A Writer Know What They Are Good At? by Shannan E. Johnson

Film Courage: How does a writer know their strengths?

Writer/Instructor and Script Consultant Shannan E. Johnson (The Professional Pen): Good question. I think a lot of that is going to come from your own confidence, from within like this is a natural skill for me, this is a natural area for me. I do think it takes some time to get there which is why when writers work with me I will ask them those kind of questions:


“Are you writing what you like to write?”

“Are you writing what you like to watch?”

“Are you writing characters that you know very well?”

“Are you writing characters that you observe?”


Which is fine but make sure that if there are people that you just observe that you…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).






About Shannan:

After grad school I became a junior creative executive at NBCUniversal at the Syfy Channel. I was there for the rebrand. Remember Sci Fi? Yeah, not really. Anywho, it was my job to help writers and producers take their ideas from pitch to production. I co-exec’d on Alphas, Being Human, Haven, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, and more Syfy dramedies. This is how I honed my skill in all stages of the screenwriting process…(read more here).

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Coverage, Ink – Screenplay Analysis, Development and Editing.

UNARMED MAN Movie – Winner of the HBO best feature award. Called “absolutely stellar” by Film Threat. Civil unrest erupts after a Police Officer shoots and kills an unarmed man. Forced to give a statement, the Officer recounts his version of events in a scathing examination of fear and violence by writer/director Harold Jackson, III