It’s easy to discredit Twitter at first glance. I know I did. But screenwriters have actually gotten representation and sold their scripts thanks to their use of Twitter. I’ve gotten the opportunity to do a few guests posts thanks to my Twitter and this blog, and it’s a great place to connect with the writing community.
Here’s five tips to make the most of your tweeting!
- Learn the rules of Twitter etiquette. (Or Twitiquette, as I like to call it.) As writers, we’re expected to be good at coining witticisms about our lives in 140 characters or less. In a sense, Twitter is a way for us to hone our word spinning craft. It’s a space for us to tell jokes (I spilled coffee on my screenplay. Guess it’s Java Script now) or interacting with others or even shamelessly promoting your own blog (12 Invaluable Screenwriting Resources on the Web). What you SHOULDN’T do on Twitter: insult others, rehash how delicious your breakfast is, complain about traffic, your kids, your life, your job. Some of the most intelligent people I know tarnish their image by writing inane things like: “My boyfriend is the bestest lol!!” Can you say, “unfollow button lol!!” Hollywood is a small town. Watch what you post. Especially if you’re putting down somebody’s movie/script/short film.
- Follow the Trades. Twitter is a great way to stay on top of of new Spec sales, industry trends, and what kind of books are being adapted. It’s important to stay up to date in order to figure out what’s selling and if there’s a market for you script and follow outlets like Variety, Deadline, and theHollywood Reporter.
- Offer to swap material. Some of the best feedback I’ve received is from people I’ve met on Twitter who have contacted me about trading material. Don’t worry about your script being stolen: other writers aren’t going to risk a possible lawsuit. As for ideas? Everyone steals them. The question isn’t “who has the best idea?” It’s “who can execute their concept the best?” And you can’t learn if you’re too afraid to share your script and receive valuable feedback. Pro tip: Don’t Tweet, “Who wants to read my script?!” Instead, seek out writers on a one to one basis. Try and find people within your genre who are more likely to enjoy your script. Horror writers might not give accurate feedback on your feel-good rom com.
- Ask the experts. Wondering how many scripts you should have in your arsenal before you seek representation? Trying to figure out the difference between “V.O.” and “O.S.”? Twitter is a great place to find out! @ScriptChat hosts question and answer sessions with industry insiders every week. These discussions are gold as far as advice is concerned, and if you haven’t dropped by for one of them, you are missing out. Pro tip: Know that these experts are doing the writing a community a favor. This is NOT a good time to ask them to read your scripts!
- Participate in contests. Occasionally, you’ll see pitch competitions on Twitter. This is a great opportunity to connect with others and practice short-form pitching your material.
Now it’s your turn! Go judge my own Tweeting ability here.