questionmarkMy writing partner and I recently completed a feature spec we are very proud of. Friends who work as assistants to producers/agents/managers have been generous with praise and kind enough to pass the script up and onto their bosses.

If we are lucky enough to get a meeting with an agent or producer, I am positive they will ask to read additional material from us. But we don’t have anything — at least not anything we wrote together.

In the next month or two while our script is being read, should we focus on trying to bang out another spec? Or should we put together multiple treatments for the various other ideas we have? Looking to get insight on what an agent or producer might ask for from the writer if they like a spec they’ve read.

– Jason
Los Angeles

answer iconSpend the next week figuring out three possible feature scripts. Flesh out the ideas enough that you could elevator-pitch them.

Pick the one that excites you most. That’s the one you’re going to write. But not quite yet.

That’s because first, you need figure out your plans for television. If you have any interest in writing for TV, you need to get cracking.

Pick a well-regarded show in its first two seasons and write a great spec episode. Some will argue that writing an original pilot serves you better than a spec. I’d counter that in your situation, you simply need more material with both your names on it. A script for Justified or Good Wife or Mike & Molly will be relatively quick to write.

Assuming you are interested in writing TV, here’s your syllabus for the next few months:

  1. Brainstorm three features. Pick one to write.
  2. Pick and write a TV spec.
  3. Outline the feature. Start writing the screenplay.
  4. Once per week, revisit your other feature pitches and refine them.
  5. When the second feature screenplay is written, start showing it to trusted readers.
  6. Rewrite/polish the TV spec.
  7. Brainstorm a TV pilot script.1
  8. Either write the TV pilot script, or rewrite the second feature.

Whatever you do, don’t confuse “waiting for people to read” with “waiting to get started on something.” It’s great people like your script. That’s your cue to write more.

  1. Alternately, consider a low-budget indie you could make yourself.