To succeed as a writer in Hollywood, I believe you need to master these four areas:
- Blazing hot material
- Connecting skills (aka networking)
- Smart self marketing
- Industry savvy
This insider tip has to do with the first one: material. I don’t mean just any material. Whether it’s a screenplay, a tv pilot, spec episode, short story, one-act play or a web series... your material needs to be BLAZING HOT. When I mention this at my workshops, I’m often asked, how do you know if your writing qualifies as “blazing hot.”
It’s simple. People can’t get enough of you or your project.
What do I mean?
Signs your material is blazing hot
- people want to meet you
- people want to hire you
- people want to buy your project
- people offer to pass it along to decision makers
- people (other than your mom, immediate family or BFFs) can't stop talking about it
You’ll know it when you experience it. There’s excitement when people talk to you about your project. You can feel the energy. There’s always a second step they want to take with it, some kind of forward momentum. Anything short of this and it means your material’s just not quite there yet. Time to rewrite and refine. It can be helpful to get an outside professional perspective.
Thankfully, there's no shortage of experts, readers and coaches you can consult to help improve your material. Here are some great ones (in alphabetical order):
I'd love to hear what qualities you feel make a project blazing hot. Tweet me @CaroleKirsch.
All my best, Carole
Director of WGA's Showrunner Training Program, creator & Director of the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, international speaker and a leading expert on entertainment career strategies, Carole Kirschner teaches creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying landscape of show business. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment is a primer on how to break in and move up in the entertainment industry. Through her popular workshops, Carole teaches writers, producers, directors and executives the real world strategies that will help them not just succeed, but thrive.