It’s a brand new year and you know what that means — everyone is looking for some New Year’s resolution ideas to adopt and keep to make the next 12 months the most productive and life-changing as possible.

For screenwriters, a new year comes with a renewed chance to evolve and grow in their craft and career. It’s time to ask yourself:

  • What are your screenwriting goals?
  • What are you going to do differently in your screenplays?
  • What can you do better?
  • What are you going to do differently in your marketing approach?
  • What did you learn from past years?

With that in mind, here we present 101 New Year’s resolution ideas you can implement in your screenwriting journey — this year and beyond.

101 Screenwriting New Year’s Resolution Ideas

  1. Write in a genre that you haven’t written before.

  2. Tackle a genre that scares you the most.

  3. Take on a subject that intimidates you.

  4. Write about something more personal in your life.

  5. Write about something less personal that’s more fun.

  6. Try to write a script that’s under 110 pages.

  7. Try to write a script that has little-to-no dialogue.

  8. Go through all of your spec scripts and proofread them.

  9. Go through all of your spec scripts and try to cut ten pages.

  10. Go through all of your spec scripts and cut down long dialogue blocks to one sentence.

  11. If you’ve only written feature scripts, try writing a pilot.

  12. If you’ve only written TV pilots, try writing a feature.

  13. Turn your feature script into a TV series.

  14. Turn your TV pilot into a feature.

  15. If you usually take 6 months or more to write a script, write one in 3 months.typewriter laptop

  16. Try to write a whole screenplay in just 4 weeks.

  17. Try to write a screenplay in just ten writing sessions.

  18. Learn ways to write good exposition in your screenplays.

  19. Gender switch what a routine male character would normally be to a female lead.

  20. Gender switch what a routine female character would normally be to a male lead.

  21. Switch what a routine supporting character’s gender would be to that of another.

  22. Change the location of your Earth-based thriller to another planet.

  23. Change the location of your script set on an otherworldly planet to Earth.

  24. Shift the time period of one of your present-day scripts to the future.

  25. Shift the time period of one of your present-day scripts to the past.

  26. Make the concept of your thriller a high-concept comedy.

  27. Place a romantic comedy within the realm of a horror movie.

  28. Develop a screenplay inspired by the scariest thing you’ve ever experienced.

  29. Develop a screenplay inspired by the most inspiring thing you’ve ever experienced.

  30. Develop a screenplay based on a dream you once had.101 Screenwriting New Year's Resolution Ideas To Try This Year_laptop

  31. Develop a screenplay based on the worst nightmare you’ve ever had.

  32. Search your family’s past generations for a compelling story.

  33. Talk to your grandparents or great-grandparents to learn about their lives for potential ideas.

  34. Watch a movie from your parent’s childhood.

  35. Watch a movie from your grandparent’s childhood.

  36. Watch a movie from your great-grandparent’s childhood.

  37. Watch a movie that doesn’t normally fall under your genre preferences.

  38. Binge an old TV series.

  39. Shoot a trailer for your most exciting spec script.

  40. Organize a table read of one of your screenplays.

  41. Swap scripts with a writing peer and each take a stab at rewriting the other’s script.

  42. Take that book you’ve been writing and write it as a screenplay instead.

  43. Turn your screenplay into a novel.

  44. Partner with an artist and turn your screenplay into a graphic novel.

  45. Choose a screenwriting project that requires a lot of research and dive into it.101 Screenwriting New Year's Resolution Ideas To Try This Year_books

  46. Choose a project that requires no research and dive into the script.

  47. Before you begin your next script, create a film score playlist that you listen to while writing.

  48. Learn a different part of the filmmaking trade.

  49. Read an acclaimed book about film editing and apply those principles to how you organize your scenes.

  50. Find the screenplays for your favorite movies online and read them.

  51. Go through older scripts of yours and read them cover-to-cover.

  52. Then revise them as needed and submit them to competitions and fellowships.

  53. Find a true crime series to binge and create a fictional script inspired by those events.

  54. Find a true crime in the news headlines and write a script inspired by it.

  55. Take a supporting character from one of your favorite movies and imagine a movie revolving around them (to get the creative juices flowing).

  56. Take a supporting character from one of your screenplays and write a script around them.

  57. Turn a villain or antagonist in one of your scripts into the protagonist.

  58. Find a character or story in the public domain and write a new script adaptation.

  59. Record a video pitch of your high-concept screenplay and have it ready if someone responds to your query.

  60. Take a month or two to focus solely on writing and sending email queries for your feature script.101 Screenwriting New Year's Resolution Ideas To Try This Year_email

  61. Take a month or two to focus solely on writing and sending email queries for your TV pilot.

  62. Develop and write a visually-stunning series bible for your TV series idea.

  63. Learn how to create an excellent pitch deck for your feature scripts.

  64. Write, revise, or rewrite outstanding loglines for all of your feature spec scripts.

  65. Write, revise, or rewrite outstanding loglines for all of your TV pilot scripts.

  66. Organize a writer’s retreat.

  67. Go on a vacation or weekend retreat to someplace you’re writing about.

  68. Take a trip to Los Angeles and tour the studios.

  69. If you are in Los Angeles, make an effort to go to the Writers Guild of America and visit their library.

  70. If you haven’t already, find a writing partner and try to collaborate on a script together.

  71. If you’ve only written with writing partners, try to write a script on your own.

  72. Take an online course to learn something new that you want to write about.

  73. Take the Method approach and walk in the shoes of a character from your scripts for a day.

  74. If you’re writing in the true crime genre, see if you can arrange a ride-along with local police.

  75. If you’re writing a screenplay about the military, see if you can visit a military base.

  76. Go through all of your scripts that have been rejected and see what you can do better.crumpled paper in wastebasket

  77. Go through all of your scripts that have been rejected and conjure better movie titles for them.

  78. Find a new writing space.

  79. Treat yourself to a new writing desk.

  80. Try to work in some time for exercise amidst your writing schedule.

  81. Before each new script, take a month to visualize the story, scenes, and sequences before you type a single word.

  82. Pick your best script and get professional script coverage done for it.

  83. Then when you’re ready, make the decision to stop relying on other people’s feedback to finish a script.

  84. Watch a MasterClass from an acclaimed screenwriter and director.

  85. As a fun exercise, conceptualize or write a sequel to your favorite genre movie.

  86. Learn a skill that a character of yours is a master at.

  87. Take one of your old scripts and apply a different story structure to it.

  88. Create a script competition/fellowship submission schedule for the whole year.

  89. Seek out new screenwriting books that you could learn from.stack of books

  90. Challenge yourself to write a compelling single-location thriller.

  91. If you have slow-burn scripts, find a way to start your script from a climax cliffhanger.

  92. Work out a plan to write 3-5 screenplays in one single year.

  93. Develop titles, loglines, and a short synopsis for each of them.

  94. Write a one-page pitch for all of your current scripts.

  95. Seek out entry-level places you can pitch yourself for paid screenwriting assignments.

  96. Start a blog about the writing experience (to keep you inspired).

  97. Start an Instagram page about the writing experience (to keep you inspired).

  98. Take a break from screenwriting and go on an adventure that has nothing to do with your scripts.

  99. Do this in between screenwriting projects.

  100. Then come back and reread your previous project with fresh eyes for that rewrite.

  101. Sit down and write 101 writing prompts and see what new ideas come to you for the next script.

Read More: 6 Obscure New Year’s Films to Steal From (or Screenwriting Lessons for the Year Ahead)


Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for nearly two decades, most notably as a studio liaison for Sony Studios and then as a script reader and story analyst for Sony Pictures.

He has many studio meetings under his belt as a produced screenwriter, meeting with the likes of Sony, Dreamworks, Universal, Disney, Warner Brothers, as well as many production and management companies. He has had a previous development deal with Lionsgate, as well as multiple writing assignments, including the produced miniseries Blackout, starring Anne Heche, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Zane, James Brolin, Haylie Duff, Brian Bloom, Eric La Salle, and Bruce Boxleitner, the feature thriller Hunter’s Creed, and many produced Lifetime thrillers. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenMovies

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Author: Ken Miyamoto