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20 of the Best Quotes on Screenwriting

“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.”

– Billy Wilder

 “The easiest thing to do on earth is not to write.”

– William Goldman

“There is only one plot-things are not what they seem.”

– Jim Thompson


“Everything I’ve written is personal- it’s the only way I know how to write.”

– Charlie Kaufman


“I could be just a writer very easily. I am not a writer. I am a screenwriter, which is half a filmmaker….But it is not an art form, because screenplays are not works of art. They are invitations to others to collaborate on a work of art.”   

– Paul Schrader

“When I was sixteen or seventeen, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a playwright But everything I wrote, I thought was weak. and I can remember falling asleep in tears because I had no talent the way I wanted to have.”

– Francis Ford Coppola


“I love fantasy. I love horror. I love musicals. Whatever doesn’t happen in real life is what I’m interested in. as a way of commenting on everything that does happen in life, because ultimately the only thing I’m really interested is people.”

– Joss Whedon


“The screenplay is the child not only of its mother, the silent film, but also of its father, the drama.”                                 

– Terrence Rattigan


“Screenwriting is an opportunity to fly first class, be treated like a celebrity, sit around the pool and be betrayed.”

– Ian McEwan


“It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.”

– Will Shetterly


“I don’t think screenplay writing is the same as writing- I mean, I think it’s blue printing.”                                                      

– Robert Altman


“Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.”

– Robert McKee


 “The most ordinary word, when put into place, suddenly acquires brilliance. That is the brilliance with which your images must shine.”

– Robert Bresson

“One of the big things you have learn is who to listen and when; and you can’t listen to everybody.”

– Amy Holden Jones


“No, you're either born a writer, a storyteller, or you're not.”

-John Milius


 “People are going to laugh at your attempt to write a really romantic scene. So what can you do to protect yourself? You can shock people…”

– Andrew Kevin Walker

“I think about the audience in the sense that I serve as my own audience. I have to please myself that way, if I saw the movie in theatre, I would be pleased. Do I think about catering to an audience? No.”

– Shane Black


“We’ve all been burned by bad feedback. Rude, insensitive, bossy, arrogant, wrong-headed, cruel even.”                      

– Julie Gray

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