7 Traits That a Successful Screenwriters Always Stay Away From

Screenwriting is a complex skill to master for most aspiring writers. Coming up with a unique idea and isolating oneself to create something meaningful that strikes a chord with readers at both structural and emotional level requires a lot of hard work and strategic planning throughout the process.

While no screenplay is perfect, there certainly are traits or habits that good screenwriters stay away from when crafting their masterpieces.

Here we are discussing 7 of these traits that a successful screenwriter always avoid-

1. always need to work as per the prescribed formats demanded by the screenplays. What this essentially means is that the clarity on the page should always be prioritized for an easy-read. This is the reason why successful screenwriters never ignore the formatting aspect of their write-ups.

Right from capitalizing character names to indenting their dialogue and parenthetical, they take care of everything using robust screenwriting software such as Writer Duet that manages all the technical details, thus freeing them up to focus only on developing a powerful story.

2. Never Argue With Script Feedback

One of the common mistakes that most aspiring screenwriters make is to argue with script feedback they had requested themselves. Most of the time, this kind of defensiveness in the form of getting in an argument is due to personal insecurity.

A good approach instead is to thoroughly scan your script before you turn in for feedback. Check for spelling issues and grammatical errors, read your dialogues out loud to ensure that they sound plausible, and deliver a consistent story. Although the revisions in a script can be tedious and time-consuming, they are an essential aspect of the writing process.

3. Avoid Floppy Endings

Screenwriting is a detail-oriented process, and it has its timings. A lot of writers start with high enthusiasm and high energy, but the motivation fades away with time, and the only thing they want towards the end is to finish it once and for all.
A lot of times, they write their script without any clarity on where or how the story will end. They think they will somehow get through that while writing the rest of the script, but it never happens.  


However, the successful screenwriters always stay away from floppy endings and make sure that the endings are as interesting as the beginnings without falling off the genre. Good writers have a clear idea of their endings, and they systematically work towards getting there without letting their characters fall into ruts.

4. Forgetting to Market Test Their Idea

Not doing the proper market testing of their idea before they start writing is something that a successful screenwriter would always avoid. It is, in fact, one of the most common mistakes that the screenwriters do and assume that anything that they have mentioned in the narrative will be automatically understood by their readers even when they do not test their idea.

Successful screenwriters, on the contrary, make sure to check it with people even when they think that their idea is great. In addition to this, they also make it a point not to choose a genre just because it’s popular. Instead, they write about something they are passionate about. 

Good screenwriters also never make the mistake of wasting too much time by getting sidetracked between taking breaks from writing or during the writing process.

Breaks should be taken to make you feel relaxed, so you can get back to writing with a better strategy and a clear head.

5. Too Much Detailing

Whether it is the lengthy narrations on the settings, plot, and physical appearances of their characters or the over description of the prop choices, good screenwriters also leave too much detail. Instead of boring the audience with unnecessary details, they would rather offer you concrete few words on the essence of the character and only go into the detailing of other aspects if it’s vital to the story.

Too long dialogue sequences that add nothing to the story, characters who don’t talk like real people, and dull conversations that do not spell out intent will subtlety can be a recipe for a disastrous script.

Always try to minimize your dialogue writing to the essentials and make sure that your characters say exactly what they mean.

6. Skipping the Outline

Most of the unsuccessful screenplays fall flat because they fail to build a story. With pastoral scenes and lifeless characters not driven towards a goal, they make a boring read with no change or action.

Good screenwriter, on the contrary, ensures that each scene of their script develops upon the same narrative by emphasizing the outline of the story (before beginning to write dialogue and action). They never forget the arcs and progressions in their final draft and take help from various available tools to suggest formats in which to do this.

7. Never Let Their First Act Slide

Imagine a scenario where your script lands in the hands of a super busy executive or agent who hardly has any time to read the entire script. What this means is that chances of acceptance or rejection are heavily dependent on the start or first 10-15 pages of the script. The beginning of your script should be engaging enough to grab the agent’s attention immediately.

Good screenwriters, therefore, always keep their beginning as tight as the ending to give readers a character to hold onto the subject. Remember that you can always wow your readers with your ending, but for that, you have to get them there first.To Wrap

Screenwriting can be a fun and rewarding experience if the writer has a stronghold and authority on what they are writing. Apart from this, successful screenwriters always keep their game up in aspects such as spellings, grammar, characters, and delivering a winning idea that starts with a great set-up and set in the proper format.  

If you wish to write a screenplay that’s undeniable, make sure to stay away from the above traits and do the required research, understand the context within which your story is set, and know exactly how things work to make it a grand success.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.