How Much Should Your Development Deal Pay?

A letter from the Writers Guild of America West, relevant to all TV writers,  whether Guild members or not, especially in this do-it-yourself-cuz-the-agents-don’t-seem-to-get-it-time:


How Aaron Sorkin Wrote The Social Network

Yes, the TV and film writing world is still talking about – and learning from – Aaron Sorkin’s work in terms of his finest work – the script for The Social Network. Although just between us, we believe the first two seasons of The West Wing were even better.

Discovered via the Behind the Curtain YouTube channel


Ya gotta love Script Reader Pro. It’s articles like these that show why:

by Script Reader Pro

Before accepting a writing gig and spending hours of your time working on someone else’s project, always remember: not all screenwriting jobs are worth doing.

There are many people who seem to think newbie writers are there to be taken advantage of. In other words, to write for them for free.

If someone promises payment “down the line,” or that they’ve got “a big star attached to direct,” proceed with extreme caution. This is not what we mean by great screenwriting jobs.

Always remember: if it seems to be good to be true, it probably is.

The truth is, there is no one, easy, quick-fix way to get screenwriting jobs. Answering an ad on one of these sites is highly unlikely to land you a gig writing the next Hollywood blockbuster. But, if you’re lucky they can turn up some very interesting opportunities.

Our Top 8 Scriptwriting Jobs Websites

If nothing else, applying to screenwriting jobs on the sites listed below can be a great way to meet fellow writers and make connections. Some of which may bear fruit later on down the line. (The list is in alphabetical order. )

screenwriting jobsCraigslist

We get that this may seem a strange addition to the list, but it is possible to land some good writing gigs on this site.

The link will take you to scriptwriting jobs based in Los Angeles but you can edit this to anywhere in the world, paid and unpaid. Check out Craigslist >>



In case you thought that our own Larry Brody was the only one in showbiz who’s crushing on outlines, here’s a very helpful guide to outlining from our friends at Script Reader Pro:

by Script Reader Pro

Writing a script outline is probably the most important preparatory step you can take as a writer.

It can save you from having to go back and fix things in a screenplay that could’ve been fixed much earlier—fundamental things like a basic problem with Act 2. Or a missing character flaw. Or a faulty three-way triangle of conflict between protagonist and antagonist and stakes character.

In this post we’re going to show you how to write a screenplay outline and figure out all your character motivations and plot points before writing the script.

In other words, how to figure out your story first and then transpose it into screenplay form. All of which will potentially save yourself months of rewrites and frustration. So let’s get to it.

Why Writing a Script Outline Is So Important

A movie is essentially a story. The blueprint for that story is a script. But the blueprint for that script is a movie outline. In other words, a breakdown of the story beats in prose that will make up the script.

Hence, the process of writing a script for most professional writers goes something like this:

Story Idea > Notes > Script Outline > Script

(Some writers also like to add a screenplay treatment in there before or after the outline.)

There’s nowhere for the story to hide in a film outline. Without all the distractions of dialogue and formatting, a movie outline either interests the reader, or it doesn’t.

If you read it aloud to someone, they should be able to understand it as a fully realized, comprehensible story. And if your story doesn’t interest people in prose form, it’s unlikely to in a screenplay.

But What About Tarantino? He Doesn’t Bother Writing a Script Outline  

Some of you may be asking, why do some famous writers such as Quentin Tarantino or the Coen brothers not bother writing a movie script outline…?


Oscar Winner Alvin Sargent on Screenwriting

From WGA West’s YouTube Channel:

In 2015, several years before his death earlier this month, the Writers Guild of America West’s Career Longevity Committee staged a reading of Alvin Sargent’s unproduced screenplay Madly In Love as part of their WGAW Inclusion & Equity Department’s Seasoned Readings, a program that celebrates the work of older writers.

The Career Longevity is one of nine committees overseen by the WGAW’s Inclusion and Equity Department.

Prior to the event, the two-time Oscar winner (Ordinary People, Julia), who died on May 9, 2019, spoke about his career, some of the rules of screenwriting, and his creative process.

More WGAW videos are HERE