Screenwriting: Should aspiring screenwriters hire a script consultant to help develop their work?

Yes, definitely! If you are serious about your work I suggest you hire a script consultant at least once for at least one project. They can be costly but if you pick the right one it is a good investment. A script consultant can help you focus and fine tune your screenplay into a marketable project. It’s not just about spelling and punctuation. None of the consultants I have worked with have wasted my time in pointing out trivial detail that can be corrected via a spell check. They are more concerned with the story, structure and execution. They give valuable insight into how the story can work effectively, your target audience and genre. Consultants have a professional perspective on your work and highlight issues where family and friends would fail. A good script coach will make viable suggestions and provide clear techniques of how you can fix what is not working. Family and friends may sometimes give good opinions and alternative ideas, but will not be able to assist in how to apply them.
In order to be taken seriously by industry professionals you must be willing to listen to their feedback and be prepared to revise your work. As a writer, one could argue it’s your story and you should be able to write anything you desire. True, but as long as you are happy that your audience will only ever be your family and friends. So be clear on who you target audience are. Is it just you and your posse, or the movie boffins?
Finding a good script consultant can be a bit of a dilemma. Generally, you don’t know if they are any good until after you have paid them, received a critique and development notes. Warning! Reading what is wrong with your script is a painful process. You will hate the script coach. Here, I suggest a measure of Buddhism, a little detachment from your work to gain a heightened perspective. Then re-read the notes again and again, and you will see that the script coach is on your side and there to help, not an enemy seeking to demean you or your work as you had initially thought.
If you are interested in developing your project then you can try one of the following sites that offer script consultants services.

One thought on “Screenwriting: Should aspiring screenwriters hire a script consultant to help develop their work?

  1. Interesting. I’ve got a really good screenplay in the works and I’m really considering a script consultant on this one because I really believe in this script, more than anything I’ve written. Question: Would a script consultant be a good idea for a comedy? For some reason the stigma for a script consultant would be if I was trying to win an Oscar. Thanks! Great blog.

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