The Common Mistake 99% of Beginner Screenwriters Make – Insights by Andy Guerdat

As a seasoned screenwriter with years of experience in the industry, I am aware of the common mistake that plagues 99% of beginner screenwriters. Through my own insights and observations, I have come to understand the recurring error that hampers the progress of aspiring screenwriters – a mistake that I, too, made early in my career. In this blog post, I, Andy Guerdat, will shed light on this prevalent issue and offer valuable advice to help emerging screenwriters overcome their obstacles and enhance their storytelling skills. Join me as we delve into the world of screenwriting and unravel the secret to success in this highly competitive field.

The Common Mistake 99% of Beginner Screenwriters Make – Insights by Andy Guerdat


As an experienced screenwriter who has sold feature screenplays to major studios, a part-time instructor at Pepperdine University and UCLA Extension, and the founder and host of The Go Draft, I have seen countless aspiring screenwriters make the same mistake over and over again. In this article, I will share my insights on this common mistake and provide valuable tips to help beginner screenwriters avoid falling into this trap. So, grab your notepad and let’s dive into the world of screenwriting!

The Mistake: Lack of Emotional Connection

One of the most common mistakes I see beginner screenwriters make is the lack of emotional connection in their scripts. Many writers focus solely on creating an exciting plot or delivering clever dialogue, neglecting the importance of evoking genuine emotions in their audience. As a screenwriter, my job is not only to express myself but also to evoke emotion and create art that resonates with viewers.

The Importance of Emotion in Screenwriting

Emotion is the heart and soul of any great screenplay. It is what makes a story memorable and impactful. Without emotion, a screenplay becomes flat and uninteresting. As writers, we have the power to make people feel something, to transport them into another world and leave a lasting impression. By tapping into the emotional core of our characters and storylines, we can create a connection with our audience that will keep them engaged and invested.

Tips to Avoid the Emotional Disconnect

To avoid the common mistake of emotional disconnect, here are some practical tips that will help beginner screenwriters infuse emotion into their scripts:

  1. Know Your Characters: Spend time developing your characters and understanding their desires, fears, and motivations. The more you know your characters, the better you can align their emotions with the overall narrative.

  2. Show, Don’t Tell: Instead of simply describing emotions in your screenplay, show them through actions, dialogue, and visual cues. Allow your characters to express themselves naturally, and let the audience interpret their emotions organically.

  3. Create Conflict: A story without conflict lacks emotional depth. Introduce obstacles, challenges, and inner struggles that force your characters to confront their emotions and grow throughout the narrative.

  4. Use Dialogue Wisely: Dialogue can be a powerful tool to convey emotions, but it should feel natural and authentic. Avoid heavy-handed exposition and let the subtext speak for itself.

  5. Use Visual Storytelling: Visual cues such as body language, facial expressions, and cinematography can evoke emotions without the need for explicit dialogue. Use these visual elements to enhance the emotional impact of your story.


In conclusion, the common mistake that 99% of beginner screenwriters make is the lack of emotional connection in their scripts. By understanding the importance of emotion in screenwriting and implementing the tips provided, aspiring screenwriters can elevate their storytelling and create scripts that resonate with their audience. Remember, as screenwriters, our goal is not just to express ourselves but to evoke emotion and create art. So, infuse your scripts with genuine emotions, and watch your stories come to life on the big screen.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can you elaborate more on the importance of emotional connection in screenwriting?
    Absolutely! Emotional connection is crucial in screenwriting as it allows the audience to relate to the characters and their experiences. Without this connection, viewers may lose interest and disengage from the story. By evoking emotions, screenwriters can create a memorable and impactful narrative that resonates long after the movie has ended.

  2. How can I improve my ability to create emotional depth in my scripts?
    Improving your ability to create emotional depth in your scripts requires practice and observation. Study great screenplays and movies that excel in evoking emotions, and analyze how they achieve this. Additionally, work on developing your own emotional intelligence and empathy so that you can better understand and convey the complexities of human emotions in your writing.

  3. Are there any specific screenwriting techniques I should explore to enhance emotional connection?
    Yes, there are several screenwriting techniques that can enhance emotional connection. Some examples include writing effective character arcs, utilizing subtext, employing the use of symbolism and motifs, and crafting impactful climactic moments. Experiment with these techniques and see how they can heighten the emotional impact of your storytelling.

  4. What role does music and sound design play in evoking emotions in screenwriting?
    Music and sound design are powerful tools in evoking emotions in screenwriting. They can enhance the mood, create tension, and emphasize key moments in the story. As a screenwriter, you can utilize descriptive language to suggest the type of music or sound design that would complement your scenes and amplify the emotional impact on the audience.

  5. Is it important to consider the target audience’s emotions when writing a screenplay?
    Absolutely, considering the target audience’s emotions is crucial when writing a screenplay. Different genres and demographics elicit different emotional responses. Understanding your target audience will help you tailor your story, characters, and emotional beats to resonate with them more effectively, increasing the chances of connecting with and engaging your intended viewers.

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