Why I'm a Better Screenwriter Than You; 10 Reasons | Script Revolution

Why I'm a Better Screenwriter Than You; 10 Reasons


Look, this is going to be brutal, but it needs to be said. If you're looking for harsh truths about screenwriting then look no further. You better have thick skin before walking into this one and I'm talking alligator skin thick here. I'm about to hit you with ten doses of sorely needed self reflection and some in your face reality here. You ready? You sure? Why am I so much better than you? Yes you. I've not just got the balls to ask you that question but I've got a long list of reasons to throw at you too? Think you can get all the way to the bottom? Time to suck it up, buttercup - CJ

It’s time to sit down and ask yourself an important question, why am I better than you at this screenwriting game? Seriously, what’s up with that?

Let’s go over a few reasons which are probably going through your tiny mind right now;

I Work Harder at This

You don’t write every day. You try to write when you have some free time but it’s never enough. You’re mind is clogged with ideas and, when you finally sit down to face the blank page, you lock up with writer’s block. Compared to me, you are a lazy bum with a poor work ethic.

I’m Simply More Talented

You were behind me from day one. You just don’t have the kind of mind that dreams up worthwhile material. While you sit struggling for days coming up with bad ideas, they flow from me on demand. You need to redraft a story ten times while I write crackling dialogue on the first take.

I’m Better Educated

You most likely never got the quality education I did, and if you were fortunate enough to, you wasted it. You never knew you wanted to be a writer. When you were daydreaming in class, I was focusing on my English literature by day and running home to hone my skills at night.

I'm on the Pulse of Trends

Do you even dank meme, bro? You’re painfully out of touch and addressing an audience who have long passed on from visiting the movie theatre. You’re a dying breed of writer who simply isn’t seen with the same highly valuable commercial appeal someone like myself is.

I Have Access You Don’t

Everywhere there’s networking to be done, I’m there. I’m online where I need to be. I’m offline where it matters. I’m always in the room. You can’t get a word in edgeways with industry members because I’m the kind of person they wait to chat to at parties. I talk and people listen.

I Have a Track Record

You’re not on IMDB, and if you are, your credits are doing you more harm than good. You’re only as good as your last option or sale and you’ve got next to nothing behind you. You’re a bumbling unknown while I’m an exciting sure thing. Yeah, it’s a catch-22. Guess it sucks to be you.

My Prose Is More Poetic

My voice flows from the page so freely, veracious readers can’t wait to turn to the next. While you hack out clumsy blueprints, I conceive pieces of literature. My words flow with the smooth cadence of a Swiss watch, and when I want impact, they hit like a barrage of ballistics.

I Use a Better Story Formula

It was hard enough for you to get your head around three acts. I’m juggling five. You’re saving the cat yet barely able to keep your crayons within the lines. If you're not stuck up a tree you’re stuck in the dark night of the soul every day both figuratively and literally. 

I’m Just Technically Better

I barely ever make typos. I know the rules of grammar and know when to break them. For every adverb you fart out your fingers I have another word in my vocabulary. You fail the formatting test on page one whereas I’m light on the eyes and deep in the detail through to the end. Where are your awards? Where's your validation?

Does that sound about right to you?

That reality is, none of these reasons are true. 

There is only one reason; it’s because you allow yourself to think I am better than you. And you shouldn’t. Never demean yourself. Never let others demean you.

You have an imagination. You’re half way there. The self confidence is free if you’re willing to take it.

Don’t let yourself become your own worst enemy. It’s far too easy to do and there’s no benefit to it. No, it won’t make you push harder. No, it won’t give you the tough love you need. It will demotivate you and send you on a spiral of self destruction - been there, done that.

Keep in mind that the screenwriting world is littered with writers who want to make sure everyone else is ranked neatly below them. They are weak and they are scared. They know that the gem of an idea and the energy to do it justice exists within all of us. They know that self belief makes people powerful, so they try to strip it from those they see as competition.

While it’s possible to cut people like that out of your life, it’s far harder, and far more important to cut that toxicity from you mind.

If that sounds impossible then I ask you this, what do you stand to lose by believing you can do this? Now what do you stand to lose by believing others are more deserving?

Writing allows you to put your mind on the page. Your mind is just as beautiful and creative as the next person’s. Sure, our goals, our tastes, our passions may differ, but that doesn’t make one person right and another wrong.

Write like you’re the greatest writer in the world, because within your world, that’s exactly what you are. 

Please yourself first because because it’s your authentic self that will please your audience in time.

Stop caring about being better and start caring about being an artist.

About The Author

CJ Walley's picture
Real name: 

I’m here for the gritty movies, the rebellious movies, those films that pack a punch far harder than their budgets would suggest.

As a spec script writer, I love to create pulpy thrillers, mostly with female leads, that feature strong themes, brutal action, witty dialogue, and twisting scenes that have characters vying for power or falling for one another.

As a producer and writer-for-hire, I’m production savvy, budget conscious, and market orientated, able to write in a...Read more



John Hunter's picture

Good luck and all the best.

Deenur _'s picture

The 3 factors in selling a script: Timing, timing and timing. Have what they want when they need it. It's 90% of the issue.
But your stuff better be perfect. You can't sell crap. Write, read, revise and expect an opportunity.

CJ Walley's picture

I always call it alignment, but timing is just as valid. Our writing has to resonate and it reaching the right hands to do that is very much in the hands of fate.

John Hunter's picture

I've always thought of it as a TRIFECTA: The right script, in the right hands, at the right time -- But then, I've never sold a feature or a pilot.

CJ Walley's picture

That's a good way to put it, John. I wish more writers could understand how so much hangs on this.

Tina Balli's picture

Maybe add on reason 11..You don't live in Hollywood. Would you stand a better chance by being there?

Deenur _'s picture

If you believe that matters, then yes. I have had my work read by quite a few directors, producers and agents, and have never gone near Hollywood.

CJ Walley's picture

I actually think being in Hollywood could be a huge drawback. You stand a far higher chance of being sucked into deals and projects that are never going to workout. Plus, you're surrounded by people trying to do the same and in danger of letting them influence you too much.

John Hunter's picture

@Tina. Recently read about a young red-hot scriptwriter with a big name in-the-industry father. He was raised in Beverly Hills and Steven Spielberg attended his bar mitzvah. Is he going to have a better chance selling a script than an old Cracker like me living in Florida? You betcha.

Deenur _'s picture

And yeah so he will get A chance that you wont. So what? If he turns out crap, he wont have any longevity. Do the best, quality work you can and you will have a career instead of just a chance or two.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz's picture

Every reason valid. If you practice these principles in all your affairs.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz's picture

Could not get my photo upright but that is me C.J.!!

CJ Walley's picture

I fixed it for you, Steven. Hope you're still churning out all those notes, my friend.

Claudia Garcia-Mendoza's picture

Beautiful words coming from a beautiful mind... I've read two scripts written by you and, saying that, it's difficult to believe I'm better than you lol
Have all the success with your projects; you deserve it

CJ Walley's picture

Well, thank you very much for such a lovely comment. Claudia. We're all the best at what we're uniquely capable of. All we can hope is that our unique capabilities align with others.

Darlenne Susan Girard's picture

That's funny :-)

CJ Walley's picture

Glad you read to the punchline.