Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Oh my goodness, another holiday season and another year is looming ahead.  Naturally we must take a good look back on 2015 and an even better look forward to 2016.

What did you accomplish in your writing life?  Have you completed any of those scripts that you started?  Did you take that writing class?  Did you attend any film festivals, writing pitch fests, special speakers programs? If you are interested in a writing career these things are crucial to success.  If not now, when?

Time is passing so quickly for all of us.  You have a dream and you want to follow it.  Then find the way.  Above all, you must keep writing.  If you live outside of Los Angeles it is very important to find a good, bona fide writing consultant to review and advise you on your screenwriting. 

I hope you will renew your decision to move forward and redouble your efforts.  Get up earlier in the morning to give yourself more time to write.  Hire a baby sitter and go to a library or a park to write.  The point is to find a way to accomplish your goals.

I wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season and a happy and healthy and productive New Year!!

Let me know how you are doing and send me any questions you may have.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Best Advice

You're thinking seriously about trying for a writing career.  Good or bad idea?  How do you get started?  Have you already missed that bus?  From someone who has spent about a million years in the screenwriting business I have lots of answers for you.  I do these little "advice" articles occasionally because I know that there are new readers out there and sometimes people forget or discount some of the advice they've heard in the past.

There are two roads to being a screenwriter for motion pictures.  You can simply try to write a script that someone will buy or you can go for the long haul and try for a real writing career.  If you are over the age of 40 it will be best to try to sell a script or two.  If you are younger you have a better chance of having a writing career.

To sell a script you can live anywhere.  For a real career, you must live in the greater Los Angeles area.  That means you can drive to Beverly Hills, the Valley or Hollywood within one hour.
Don't kid yourself......this is a real rule.  No good agent will sign  a new writer who lives outside the area.  You can't maintain close relationships, get to sudden meetings in time, meet other pros and turn your whole social life into the world of movies, if you don't live here.

Both types of careers require the same amount of work prior to getting any kind of a deal.  The requirements are:
1.  Take a couple of screenwriting classes.
2.  Buy an read many books on screenwriting.  Go to the Writers Bookstore's web site and find fabulous books written by bona fide show biz people.
3.  Learn how to write outlines, treatments and complete screenplays.
4.  Write at least four full length scripts.  Throw the first one in the trash.
5.  Hire a script consultant for your third script.
6.  Listen to the consultant, rewrite your script using their notes, send the rewrite back to them and then listen to their notes and do it all again.
7.   Be prepared to work your ass off.  Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
8.  Go to panel discussions and speakers events for writers.  Make friends there and follow up with them.
9.  Send "Thank You" notes to all the speakers.
10.Read my book: "Mind Your Business" for all the next steps.
11. Never be late, always have new story ideas, follow-up with everyone, call people you don't know.
12.Some of your scripts won't work.  Just move on to the next one.
13.Learn to write fast. You can lose a good career by being too slow.
14.Never misspell anything.
15. Learn to write interesting and memorable characters.
16. Call on me when you need a good consultant who knows what she's doing.

Now......go do it!!  Have some fun along the way.  It's a great and fulfilling business.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


For this month's Blog I'd like to ask YOU some questions and I hope many of you will reply.

These questions will help you move forward in your career.  They will give you something positive to think about, mull over, and perhaps discuss with people who can help you.

I want to know what you are doing for yourself.  So here goes:

1.  How many completed scripts have you written?

2.  Exactly what books have you read on writing?

3.  Have you gone to any professional seminars on writing?  If so, what were they?

4.  Have you begun to search for an agent or manager?  If so, how have you proceeded?

5.  Have you attended any pitch fests?  If so, how did you follow up with the people you met?

6.  What are you doing to improve your writing skills?

7.  Have you used writing consultants?  If so, did this help your writing?

8.  How are you reaching out to the Hollywood community?

9.  Are all of your scripts in the same genre?  If not, what genres are you writing?

10. Have you followed up with any people in Hollywood with "Thank you" notes?

I would be thrilled if you would answer any or all of the above.  I am also here to answer any questions you  may have and I would be happy to consult on your projects.

Please respond to either the comments section below, or to my personal email at:

Don't forget to read my book:  "Mind Your Business:  A Hollywood Literary Agent's Advice On Your Writing Career". 

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Who are you asking for advice and information about your writing and your writing career?
Sounds like an innocent question, but it is of quintessential importance.  I'm a member of Facebook, Linked In (various writers groups therein), Stage 32 and Twitter.  I read all sorts of questions from writers who will be receiving answers from people who have no idea what they are talking about!

It galls me the completely wrong info that you are getting.  Someone who is in a writing group can't tell you what agents really like or what they do or why they do things.  They only surmise and/or have heard gossip from others who have no real knowledge.

There are many professionals who have great backgrounds in filmaking and the Hollywood system.  The people most available are script consultants and we are the most willing to help you.  You must vet anyone you go to.  Make sure they were really pros in the business before you go to them.

If it's a short question or two, they will probably answer via email.  If you need a bit of time to discuss your way forward in your career choices you may have to pay a bit.  It is well worth it to get the right advice and not waste years listening to bad advice.

We consultants are all over the Internet and you can Google us for any information you may need.

Wishing you all well.

Read:  "MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent's Guide to Your Writing Career".

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



When a writer needs to pitch their project most of them shrink back in horror at the prospect.  It often feels too much like a performance and performance anxiety immediately rears its ugly head.  Yes, it is a necessary evil and writers must learn to do it and do it well.  The good news is that you can learn how to do it and with practice you can do it well. Once you know how to do it, you might even find it fun and exhilarating.  After all, you are telling your stories and as a writer you are a storyteller. 

There are different kinds of pitching that you will run into.  We’ll discuss the differences between pitching to your own agent, pitching to try to get an agent to sign you and pitching to a producer.  All three are quite different in style and nuance.  Certainly the basics are the same.  You have a limited amount of time to explain an entire movie, describe your characters and excite your audience.  It’s an important aspect of your working life and no one else can do it for you.

  Upon first meeting an agent, at a pitch fest, you should try to sell yourself more than your project.  Agents are not buyers.  They can not finance your movies, but they are the doors to those buyers that you will need.  Your best bet is to project an image of self-confidence along with your knowledge as a writer and your love of the work.  Of course they want to hear your ideas and if you can tell them an interesting story that is a tried and true genre, you will be on the right track.  Agents want to know that you are a good writer, that you are prolific, and that they can live with you.  Being overly aggressive will turn them off, as will being too shy.  They want to hear someone who believes in themselves and their work.  They also want to know that you can listen to suggestions, advice and counsel.  

You will find that you’ll often have to pitch your new ideas to your own agent.  They want to know what you are working on and what ideas you have for future work.  This is done in a much more relaxed atmosphere, with a good deal of give and take. 

  This kind of pitching involves all of the talent that you have as a writer and a performer.  You need to know your material backwards and forwards.  You will need to show a great deal of self-confidence and yet be willing to listen to their questions and ideas.  Your attitude is always “up”.  Show your enthusiasm for your project in a businesslike way. 
Now go out there and have some fun with your newly developed talent.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nine Years As a Consultant!

This month is my ninth year anniversary of being a script consultant.  It's impossible not to look back and weigh my choices and decisions.  I'm delighted to say that I chose well and have loved this new career.  After spending so many years as an agent I couldn't imagine finding something else that I would want to do that would bring me fulfillment, joy, fun and a bit of money too.  Being a consultant for writers has done all of that for me.

I've always loved to read and loved the movies.  Having two great careers that encompassed those loves has been amazing.  When I left my world as an agent I thought I was through.  I was exhausted and saddened.  A long rest was in my future.  After a couple of years off there was a feeling of ennui.  What was I accomplishing?  What was my value to the world?  How could I be of use again?

An old friend suggested that I become a novel and script consultant.  It took me a few months of thinking and discussing this to come to my decision to give it a try.  I called old friends who were so encouraging and pushed me forward.  They helped me get started with their enthusiasm and advice.  I will always be grateful to Michael Hauge, Linda Segar, Kathy Fong-Yoneda, and Mollie Gregory who believed that I could do anything I wanted to do and were happy to help me do it. 

I learned that I still loved writers and that they needed me.  My agency work was the background that was perfect to help them move forward and improve their work.  I began getting speaking engagements at writers groups, film festivals and pitch fests.  These have been so much fun and so fulfilling.  I was asked to write articles for various online sites and realized that there was a book inside me that could continue to educate new writers.  When I wrote MIND YOUR BUSINESS, it was a gamble.  What a terrific experience and I'm happy to say that four (4) years later it is still selling like hot cakes!

Well, I'm now looking forward to my 10th year with as much enthusiasm and joy as ever.

Thanks to all of you for making my life so great.

web site:  michelewallerstein110@vpweb.com
email:       writerconsultant67@gmail.com

Thursday, April 2, 2015



   taught by Michele Wallerstein
6-week online course

If your current material isn't getting you representation, then you need this insider's tricks of the trade - now at a special price. Only $300 to have Michele be your guide on How To Sell Your Screenplay and move your career forward.

In this online class, Michele Wallerstein, author of Mind Your Business: A Hollywood Literary Agent's Guide to your Writing Career, and screenplay, novel and entertainment consultant as well as a veteran former Hollywood Literary agent, demystifies the ins and outs of the business of writing as well as how to get the most out of your material and your writing career. Whether you are an up-and-coming writer or a seasoned pro - get your career on track with this special On Demand price!
www.esefilmworkshopsonline.com  to purchase and enroll.

email me if you have any questions:

Monday, March 23, 2015


You want to write for a living. You want to sell that screenplay. Here are some hints to help you further your goals:

 1. You must write "spec" screenplays. Lots of them. Your first one will be awful. Your second one may be fair. Your third one might be OK and your fourth one may be good. Personally I still don't think that four is enough, but I know you will want to sell your first one.

 2. You will need to know the difference between a spec script and a shooting script. You will be writing spec scripts if you are not being paid to write. That's the simple explanation, however there are lots of differences between the two. A spec is a sample of your writing as well as a script that you hope to sell. When you are paid and are writing on assignment it is also a sample of your work, but you will have other people who will give you input left and right.

3. When writing a spec script there are some very important keys that you must know. These things are not written in screenwriting books. They are the unwritten laws of the spec. First, you can't write lots of exposition. These are all of the descriptive passages wherein you tell the reader if it's raining, or what kind of dress a woman is wearing, or the architectural style of a building. It also covers whether the characters are standing or sitting, where they are looking, what hand movements they make or if they walk in or out of a door. Please stop putting all of this into your specs. It will drive an agent or producer crazy. They simply want to know if you can use a proper 3 act structure, have an interesting plot and most importantly if you can write interesting characters.

 4. Stop directing your actors in you specs. Don't tell me what they think, feel, where they look, how they look, what expressions are on their faces, if they walk across a room, if they smile or frown. All of these decisions will be made by the real directors and actors based on the script's dialogue and story information. If you are lucky enough and talented enough to sell your script, it will be rewritten so many times that most of these things will be moot.

 5. Don't crowd your script with too many characters. Ask yourself if introducing the parents or aunts and uncles of the main characters is truly important. If anyone doesn't move the story forward or help the star characters in some important fashion, then get rid of them.

 6. Your stars must be on every page. OK, maybe they are not in one or two scenes, but no more then that. Everyone needs to know that Studio movies cast big stars so that they will at least be assured of a big opening weekend at the box office. Every star wants to be in every scene.

 7. Stop writing flashbacks. Tell that information in dialogue if it is very important to the script. 8. Do not describe every punch in a fight scene.

 9. Do not tell the music playing in the background. Do not write your own lyrics and put it in the script.

10. Do have your star grow and learn something about themselves.

 Now, go back and edit those scripts then send them to me. See my web site at:

Friday, February 20, 2015


OK, here are some of the things I want to gripe about.  I can't find movies to go see.  I can't even find semi-old movies on my VCR to rent.  90% of the movies on HBO, SHOWTIME, CNMX, ENCORE, etc. are films I've already seen or won't even consider watching.  I'm a grown up and the major studios couldn't care less.  They just want those male teenagers.  It's called having an audience that goes back and sees the same movie over and over with other friends.  One of the things I'd like to know is where do those boys get all that money for movies, popcorn, candy and sodas.  Thank goodness there are still a few good little independent films. 

I hate all of these re-makes.  I don't care if they were great films or just action junk.  Why aren't the studios making more original films??  It is the death of the new idea and creativity.  Film is an art and we should never forget it.

If you want to be a successful screenwriter, you better learn how to write mindless action pieces.  I know I'm being a bit snarky but I miss going to a movie whenever I feel like it.  I have to wait a long time before a good picture arrives on the scene.  However, the truth is that right now if you are writing intimate relationship dramas or adult comedies, it ain't gonna sell.  They might be good sample scripts so keep writing them and get very good at it.

Another thing I hate is "ghostwriting".  I hate everything about it.  I've even seen some consultants who offer to ghostwrite.  I want to call the writing police and have them arrested.  Your sample specs are YOURS.  If anyone else writes it with you they must get credit on the title page, otherwise you are lying to the producer, agent and development person.   I once had a partner who represented a famous writer who received lots of TV assignments.  He would hire young writers, pay them a very small amount, read the drafts and put his own name on the project.  He made a huge amount of money and I was furious when I found out.  It was fraud.

In the wonderful movie, ROCKY, our hero talks with some kids on his block and warns them that "All you got is your rep". I agree with that statement.  I believe that your word is your bond, a deal is a deal, and you never lie.

Thanks for letting me get these things out of my system.  Take them to heart and become the smartest, best, most creative writing artist that you can be.

Come see my new web site:  www.michelewallerstein110.vpweb.com

Monday, February 2, 2015


Hi Everyone:

Just a note to let you know that I have a new web site.  This site will give you all the information on my background and my credentials, along with my screenplay and novel services.
My rates are listed along with my phone and email address.

The site also has a link to my new on-line course titled "MOVING YOUR WRITING CAREER FORWARD".  This course is designed to teach you how to get your material read by the right people as well as what you will need to do after it has been reviewed.  It explains the agent/client relationship so you will know what to expect from an agent and exactly what you
will need to be responsible for in that relationship.  There is also much, much more insider knowledge you must have to succeed in your writing career.  If you have any questions about the course, please email me at:  writerconsultant67@gmail.com

Since the course is on-demand it will be available to you at any time you desire.  I am currently offering a large discount, but that may end at the end of February.  Sign up now!

Check my web site at:   michelewallerstein110.vpweb.com