Script writing is the act of writing a script or screenplay—the language and blueprint for film, television, show, video game, or any other audio-visual media. Screenplays can be fiction or nonfiction as well as original or based on a novel, play, or story. But unlike a novel, the script must enable the actors who read it to show the story to the audience rather than tell it. Most scripts do this through a mix of behavioral directions and dialogue.
If you enjoy telling stories, have a good imagination, and have always wanted to see your stories performed on TV or film, you're a good candidate for a career in script writing. However, if you'd like to make money at it, you'll need some patience, self-motivation, and perseverance. Selling scripts to producers and production companies is a competitive business. You'll typically work as a freelancer, and it could take years for you to find success. Other skills you'll need are creative writing, an understanding of filmmaking, and an understanding of the language of scripts.
Taking online courses on Coursera can help you learn the basics of script writing or help you understand some of its elements. You can also take general creative writing courses. A course about writing a screenplay for film or television can help you learn how to write a feature-length script.
If you study script writing, you more than likely want to become a script writer for a particular audio-visual medium, but there are other ways to use your skills and knowledge. You may go on to work in advertising, marketing, or copywriting. You can become a film or media critic. You can even dive further into the film industry by trying your hand at acting, talent management, or directing. You may also find that you simply like the act of writing so much that you want to become a novelist.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.