BALLS OF STEEL: How to Get Your Screenplay Read Without Asking

BALLS OF STEEL: How to Get Your Screenplay Read Without Asking

This article was originally written by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman an Editor of Script magazine and a screenwriter.

Last week, after giving you the secret to finding a screenwriting mentor, where I shared my experience of how I attracted the professional screenwriting mentors in my personal network, my inbox quickly flooded with the question…

How did you get Unknown Screenwriter and Doug Richardson to read your script without directly asking them?

The short answer: They knew I could write.

That’s it. The big secret. Have a nice week.

Wait. I hear someone yelling, “But how did they know you could write?”

Not one to waste time, I went straight to Doug Richardson and asked him.

I could tell three things from your blog:
A. You had something to say.
B. You could organize your thoughts.
C. You had the skill to engage me.

Bottom-line: If you want people to feel comfortable asking to read your work, you need to earn their respect to make them believe in you. The best way to achieve that is to consistently behave in a manner that instills confidence in your abilities.

Double Duty Communication

If you want to get your screenplay read, give professionals a way to know you as a writer and as a person. In social media, blog posts, and in all your communications, show your personality as well as your capability of writing to attract an audience.

Every single time you form a sentence, you are showing your ability to tell a story. Even now, I’m creating a story:

Protagonist: Me
Outer Goal: To get my scripts read
Conflict: The zillion obstacles between me and the executives

The protagonist has to be likable in order for the audience (a potential mentor) to want to root for them.

We are storytellers, but this is also a business. Every single thing you write is like being on a job interview. In today’s age, you have to assume your potential employer is stalking you. Why would Hollywood be any different?

Add to that the fact if someone offers to read your script, they need some sort of reassurance you aren’t insane. Be engaging, polite, helpful and show your personality. They need to feel safe asking for your work and trust that if they give you harsh feedback, you won’t bash them on social media platforms, stalk their homes, cook bunnies in their backyard or fill their email inbox with 30 emails a day, draining them of their valuable time.

Think about all the ways you communicate with someone. Your first job is to make them like you, trust you, and get a feel for your writing.

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