Writing is hard. Battling the white page can be exhausting and disorienting. Here are some great tips from some great writers on what to think about while your write to make sure your story is a success – both creatively and in the scary business of Hollywood.
1.) "The audience will not tune in to watch information. You wouldn't. I wouldn't. No one would or will. The audience will only tune in and stay tuned in to watch drama." – David Mamet
This simple and fierce tip reminds every writer of the importance of making every single scene packed with conflict and drama. Even in a big sci-fi world-building script, you must keep scenes that inform the audience dramatic to hold the audience.
2.) "What I try to do is write from the inside out. I really try to jump into the world of the film and the characters, try to imagine myself in that world rather than imagining it as a film I’m watching onscreen. Sometimes, that means I’m discovering things the way the audience will, with character and story." – Christopher Nolan
Immerse yourself in the world of your characters. By putting yourself in the film you make what's happening on the page that much more real. And a real, authentic script will stand out amongst the rest everyday.
3.) "My movies are painfully personal, but I’m never trying to let you know how personal they are. It’s my job to make it be personal, and also to disguise that so only I or the people who know me know how personal it is. Kill Bill is a very personal movie." – Quentin Tarantino
Just because a movie is intensely personal doesn't mean it has to be about your life. More and more in the current Hollywood climate the superhero movie has replaced the Adult Drama and so no matter how good your autobiographical story is, it will be hard to get it in theaters. However, that doesn't mean you can't fill a sci-fi character with your emotions or a comedy with your struggles. Make every movie personal – even when it's not about you.
4.) "I won’t stand to write anything unless I feel passionate about it." – Dan Gilroy
Maybe the most important piece of advice is to be passionate about what your write. Writing a screenplay is hard and to do it for any other reason than love will ultimately result in failure. Find stories, concepts, emotions, or ideas that your NEED to tell the world about.
5.) "I spent 4 years writing Little Miss Sunshine and 3 years writing Toy Story." – Michael Arndt
Writing a script is a long arduous task. It is not something to finish in a weekend or to rush through. The draft that you want to send to producers, agents, managers, studios, financiers, and ultimately to theater audiences should be PERFECT! It takes a lot of work and a long time to get there but the effort will pay off.
Best of luck with your writing. And no matter what, always be writing!