How To Become a Cartoon Scriptwriter (With Salary and Skills)

Writing for cartoons is more than creating the dialogue that characters speak. You have to first bring to life in your head the entire story, from scene and setting to characterization and conversation. Then you have to translate your mental pictures into words in such a way that an animator can readily add s to your words. Breaking in may take time but can happen with the right script, the right animation partner and the right production company.

William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the “New England Blade” and is a former contributor to “The Advocate.” His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.

Cartoon scriptwriting is a specialized role within the film and animation industry.

How to become a cartoon scriptwriter
  1. Earn a college degree. …
  2. Read cartoon scripts, comic books and graphic novels. …
  3. Write a pilot script. …
  4. Write a ‘bible’ …
  5. Pitch your idea. …
  6. Apply for jobs at major studios.

How to Become an Animation Writer/Director

What does a cartoon scriptwriter do?

A cartoon scriptwriters main task is to create story ideas and develop them into scripts, which directors and storyboard artists use to create an animated projects visual style. Cartoon scriptwriters usually first create the main storyline, then divide it into separate scenes and write each ones dialogue and action. In some situations, a studio or a producer has an idea for a story, and they hire a writer to create a script or multiple scripts based on that idea.

What is a cartoon scriptwriter?

A cartoon scriptwriter is a professional writer who specializes in creating the dialogue for cartoon characters in shows and movies. Depending on the project, they might develop an original concept or join an ongoing project, such as a television series. Once they complete a script, they send it to the projects directors and storyboard artist, who use the dialogue and directions to create the cartoons visual art. Unlike live shows, where the director typically determines the scenes major elements, an animation writer adds these details during the scriptwriting process.

How to become a cartoon scriptwriter

Follow these steps to improve your chances of becoming a cartoon scriptwriter:

1. Earn a college degree

Although a college degree isnt required to get a job as a cartoon scriptwriter, it can help you gain the basic skills for the role. A degree in English, journalism or communication can improve your writing style and prepare you for a writing career. While potential employers are usually more interested in your writing samples than your educational credentials, having a degree might give you an advantage over other candidates.

2. Read cartoon scripts, comic books and graphic novels

Cartoon scriptwriters have extensive knowledge of their field. Reading as much related material as possible can help you understand the basic concepts of cartoon scriptwriting and how writing for a cartoon differs from other writing types. These concepts include:

3. Write a pilot script

Because most major studios require their writers to have experience, getting a major cartoon scriptwriter job usually involves working on smaller projects first. One of the best ways to enter the profession while gaining practical experience is to create your own cartoon script. Guidelines most cartoon scripts follow include:

4. Write a bible

In industry terms, a bible is an outline of a cartoon series first 13 episodes. Although you only write the full script for the pilot, knowing how the shows story progresses can help you make a convincing pitch to producers. When scriptwriting, create a generic plot for each episode after the pilot. Enhance your portfolio by drawing illustrations of the main characters or creating toy prototypes, where possible.

5. Pitch your idea

Once you have a full script and an outline of a series, you can pitch your idea to network representatives or use it to get a job on an ongoing project. Y ou can pitch your idea by c ontacting network representatives directly or hiring an agent to do it for you. Although an agent takes a percentage of your earnings, their industry knowledge and connections can improve your chances of getting a cartoon writing job.

6. Apply for jobs at major studios

After working on smaller projects for a few years, you can look for employment opportunities with major animation studios. These studios generally hire only experienced scriptwriters, so building a robust portfolio can give you an advantage when applying for jobs. If you dont get a studio job right away, keep working on smaller projects and apply for studio positions when they arise.

Cartoon scriptwriter salary and job outlook

A cartoon scriptwriters work environment depends on the project. Modern technology allows writers to work from anywhere they have a computer and an internet connection, but those who work on writing teams usually collaborate in person. Most cartoon scriptwriters work regular office hours, but some choose to make their own schedule.

Cartoon scriptwriter skills

The most important skills for a successful cartoon scriptwriter are:

FAQ

How much do cartoon script writers make?

You’ll need:
  • knowledge of English language.
  • excellent written communication skills.
  • persistence and determination.
  • excellent verbal communication skills.
  • the ability to use your initiative.
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things.
  • ambition and a desire to succeed.
  • knowledge of media production and communication.

What qualifications do you need to be a scriptwriter?

You’ll need:
  • knowledge of English language.
  • excellent written communication skills.
  • persistence and determination.
  • excellent verbal communication skills.
  • the ability to use your initiative.
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things.
  • ambition and a desire to succeed.
  • knowledge of media production and communication.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *