Becoming a successful screenwriter is about a lot more than just writing a good script. You have to know how to format your script, write for each genre, track industry trends, and learn how to pitch your project like a pro. Then you have to navigate your script through the production process to get your story up on a screen. It’s a lot of things to get right. Luckily, making it in Hollywood isn’t as tough as it used to be. Thanks to these helpful screenwriting infographics, you can see the top industry trends, most popular screenplay genres, and even avoid some of the most common script mistakes all — all in one glance.
If you want to be a successful screenwriter you should be reading scripts, following the trends, watching television and film (yay!), and making as many connections across the industry as you can. Luckily, it’s never been easier to find the info you need to succeed. Here are six of the best screenwriting infographics to help you take the next step in your screenwriting career.
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Which scripts win awards?
It’s not always about the awards, but hey, why not shoot for the stars? Award-winning scripts often have successful festival runs and lucrative distribution deals, so it pays to know what the industry — and the box office — respond to. From genres to writing teams, this screenwriting infographic breaks down adapted and original award-winning screenplays.
Screenwriting trends from over 300 spec scripts
This screenwriting infographic is a doozy. But if you’re willing to take a deep dive into this comprehensive graphic you’ll learn a ton about what the average script looks like from a reader’s perspective. This includes the average plot, script length, genre, and story structure from 300 spec scripts.
This screenwriting infographic shows which kind of scripts are out there and how your screenplay measures up with current industry trends. This infographic even includes common script time periods, common settings, and even how most stories end. If you want to see how your project compares to others, dive into this script infographic. Some of the best takeaways include:
- How many pages is the average screenplay? The average script length was 107.2 pages (out of 300 scripts)
- How many scripts do readers “approve”? 8 out of 300 scripts received a “Recommended” rating. 89 out of 300 scripts were also “Considered”
- What is the gender of the protagonist and antagonist? A male hero and male villain were the most common setup (137 out of 300 scripts)
- What’s the most common screenplay genre? Horror and slasher scripts were the most popular, followed by Crime and Thriller
- They even broke down basic story structure, noting that “good triumphs over evil” in 229 out of the 300 scripts.
This infographic is one of the most helpful ways for a new (or even a veteran) screenwriter to get a feel for the script submission and spec market. Pay particular attention to genre trends, as your futuristic western might have a chance to stand out from the more common horror and slasher specs. Or it might be way off base from what studios are buying right now.
The most common reasons why readers don’t recommend your script
But wait, there’s more. The reader of those same 300 spec scripts included even more helpful data about common script problems. Here are the 38 most common reasons why readers don’t recommend your script. See if any of these script issues sound familiar and make sure to avoid some of the most common screenplay mistakes to give your script the best chance of getting picked up. Some examples include beginning a story too late in the script, cartoonish villains, and underwritten female characters. This one is really worth a full read!
How to pitch your screenplay
Most writers would probably prefer to just make the writing magic happen, but the truth is, you also have to be prepared to sell your script. This infographic offers tips and tricks for writing a one-page pitch for your script. Writing a one-pager helps writers clarify their story and prepare to sell it to someone else, so these are useful prompts before a meeting has even been arranged.
Screenwriting infographic 101: Tips & tricks
Every screenwriter has to start somewhere. If you’re just starting out, this simple infographic is for you. It highlights a few critical areas for the business of screenwriting, which of course involves much more than just the script itself. From screenwriting tips to industry relationships to writing samples, this infographic covers your bases.
BONUS: The screenwriter’s creative process
If you’re randomly surfing the internet right now, this is your gentle and loving reminder to get back to your script. We believe in you.
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Shannon Corbeil is a writer, actor, and filmmaker in Los Angeles with recent appearances on SEAL Team and The Rookie. An Air Force veteran, her articles have been published in Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, and Military.com, and she has written and produced hundreds of digital videos with millions of views. You can read more about her on her website or come play on Instagram and Twitter!