3 Common Mistakes Beginning Screenwriters Make – Shannan E. Johnson

Film Courage: We touched on some excellent points on the right way to start screenwriting. Let’s talk about the wrong way to start.

Writer/Instructor and Script Consultant Shannan E. Johnson (The Professional Pen): I think the wrong way to start is just assuming you know how this thing works. Assuming that you know what screenwriting is and so you don’t have to do any research, that you don’t have to try to hone your craft in any way, that you don’t have to read any screenplays, that you can just wake up and write. Even though I said earlier writing is a part of it, that’s the first thing you want to do, you want to start getting your ideas out to see what they are but then to assume that that’s all it takes is the wrong place to start. It’s also the wrong place to start to assume that you don’t have to know anything about the business. As writers you are your own advocate, you are your business and you’re walking into a business. As much as it’s creative, there’s also the business part of it and so you can have the best screenplays out there but if you don’t know how to play this game of getting into the business, then you’re not going to be in the right mindset. Also assuming that you’re just…(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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