How high is your Screenwriting IQ? Take this quiz and find out how much you know about the business of screenwriting.

True or False

1. A query letter is typically two to three pages long.

That’s false. A query letter should never be longer than one page.

2. There is more money available to invest in independent films now than ever before.

That is true.

3. The most important element in a letter of introduction is the person who referred you to that company or agent.

That’s true. If you have the name of a person who referred you, list it in the first paragraph.

4. A slam dunk is a compelling, high concept premise that is universally recognized as being a winner.

True.

5.  During a pitch session, you should first tell the listener how you got the idea of creating your story.

False. This is another big misconception. You have limited time to give your pitch and the listener doesn’t care how you created it.

6. A fish out of water story is an example of a brainstorming technique.

That’s true.

7. It isn’t permissible to email your script to interested parties who requested to read it.

False. Many companies and agents now prefer online submissions to having all those stacked scripts in their office. Ask the company which is their preferred method of submission.

8. Unlike agents who charge a flat 10%, managers can charge any percentage of a client’s earnings that are agreed to.

That’s true. Most managers charge 15% of all earnings but some celebrity managers charge up to 50% of their client’s earnings.

9. When you use a framing technique (for example: “It’s Apollo 13 meets Die Hard“), it should come at the end of your pitch.

False. Framing techniques should be used before you pitch your logline to prepare the listener for what type of story you’re about to pitch.

10. All well written screenplays should contain a main character who goes through a character arc.

True. Virtually every script has one of its characters undergo a positive change by the end of the movie. Notable exceptions is the James Bond character and Popeye Doyle in The French Connection.

Watch for Steve on Screenwriting the first Thursday of each month. Read Your Screenwriting IQ, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part4.

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2 Comments

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  1. Aleisha Gore 8 years ago

    This is a wonderful service you are doing for us screenwriters. Thanks Steve. Will pass it along and check out the different parts as well.

  2. […] Watch for Steve on Screenwriting the first Thursday of each month. Read Your Screenwriting IQ, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part4, and Part 5. […]

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