The Wealthy Writer

Helping authors and screenwriters lead financially and spiritually rich lives!

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Location: Los Angeles, California

Nephew of film director, Don Siegel, Derek started as an actor, starring in film and TV projects. He's a best-selling author, speaker, produced screenwriter, founder of Scriptwriter Central, a top writing resource, and Enlightened Entertainer, advancing the evolution of media. As a consultant, he has helped people around the world develop books, scripts, and TV shows. He’s been a staff writer for Fox, Disney, written scripts for Universal, Miramax, Sony, New Line, RKO, UA, MPCA, many indy producers, and co-wrote/starred in the longest running drama in L.A. history, “Welcome Home Soldier”. He has sold or been hired to write over 20 scripts, a dozen hours of TV, and many books, including the #1Best-Selling screenwriting book, "I Could’ve Written a Better Movie than That!" and “There’s No Business Like Soul Business.” He recently wrote the new Beethoven film for Universal, and the sequel to The Long Kiss Goodnight. As a licensed spiritual therapist and speaker, Derek has trained many top Fortune 500 execs and coached thousands of artists, entertainment pros, and people from all backgrounds on how to walk a purpose-driven path, and make a positive contribution.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Why You Must Work with a Mentor

By Derek Rydall

Many of the greatest artists and entrepreneurs had masters to apprentice under. Most champion athletes had a great coach standing on the sidelines. And in indigenous cultures, it is often an integral part of the tradition for wise elders to pass on ancient wisdom to young initiates.

But in our modern, hi-tech, low touch society, the role of the mentor has gone sorely missing. And in the entertainment industry, an entity created to make money off creators, where there are so many apprentices in need of masters, the role of mentor has been reduced to a catchphrase. Instead of the regular guidance, direction, and training of a seasoned professional who has walked the path you are on, most ‘apprentices’ end up instead getting some ‘friendly advice,’ enrolling in an ‘industry network,’ and receiving a monthly newsletter. This is an often painfully slow approach to learning one’s craft in any ‘real world’ sense, and likely to be filled with pitfalls that could have otherwise been avoided. And while this book is meant to serve as a sort of surrogate mentor, there’s just nothing like real-time, face-to-face, in-your-face guidance from someone who will hold you accountable and point out your blind spots.

In this vacuum of real mentoring, Master Mind groups have popped up. In these gatherings, peers on relatively the same level (but sometimes of varying stature) help each other brainstorm goals, hold each other accountable for achieving them, and generally offer support and encouragement. This is a good thing. But it doesn’t replace the experience of working one-on-one with a master (or at least someone who has been where you want to go). Unfortunately, finding someone who is both a working professional and has the time to mentor is a difficult task. But I have found it the least difficult in the arena of script consultants. The very nature of giving and receiving feedback on an entire script (and the subsequent rewrites) forces both parties to slow down, become more methodical, and often leads to something that resembles mentoring energy.

So when I went searching for a mentor in the arena of screenwriting, I hired a script consultant. This was a pivotal stage in my growth as a writer. But it also ended up becoming a crash course in becoming a script consultant myself – although I didn’t realize it at the time. You can read and hear all the theory in the world. But that can never compare to actually sitting down and spending dozens of hours pouring over your work with a professional who’s already proven themselves, then reworking the material, only to have it torn apart again and again. It not only strips the material down to its bare essence, it begins to strip you down as well. You are refined even as your material is. But what’s more important, is you not only learn to write better, you learn – even if by osmosis – how to judge material, how to analyze, ‘diagnose’, and ‘treat’ it. You also develop better ‘bedside manner’ for your own writing ‘patients.’

So that’s why I think it’s important that you invest in getting a mentor. If you can find a professional screenwriter or story constant who will work with you for free, who will mentor you in the ways of writing and/or consulting, that’s great. But it’s rare. (These people have to pay their mortgages and feed their kids too.) So if you can’t find that benevolent soul, I urge you to hire one. Anyone at first. In fact, some of my greatest lessons have come from working with bad consultants. I learned very quickly what DIDN’T work, and have (hopefully) never repeated those mistakes.

If you’re interested in getting some real hands-on support and training, check out the The Script Consultant Institute (if you want to learn how to make money as a script consultant), or The Write System (if you want to make money as a screenwriter). Both can be found at In these programs, you can participate in powerful processes that will guide you, step-by-step, along the path of honing your skills, finding your niche, marketing your services, and building your business – as a 6-figure script consultant or 6-figure screenwriter! Graduates of The Script Consultant Certification Courses can become ‘interns’ and train for a possible staff position in the mentoring program or script consulting firm, The Script Clinic.

In the past, when I tried to find a qualified script consultant that met my unique needs, I would struggle for hours, searching internet sites and screenwriting magazines, compiling a stack of disparate data that had to be sorted and cross-referenced before I could even begin to make a decision. It was a frustrating experience, to put it mildly. And I know I’m not alone. That’s why I created The Script Clinic at, where you’ll find highly qualified, pre-screened and trained script consultants and studio readers – at a reasonable price.

So how do you choose the right script consultant for you? There’s no hard-and-fast rule to apply. It’s like choosing the right medical doctor. You look at their credentials then make a decision based on your head, heart, wallet – or a combination of all three. Some, like Linda Seger, cost thousands. Others cost hundreds. And, while Linda Seger is worth every penny, some consultants who charge high prices aren’t anymore competent than those who charge a fraction of that. So do your research. Talk to them. Get a sense of their philosophy. Find out exactly what you will get for your money. Request a sample of their work if they have it available. Then sleep on it -- or whatever process you need to go through to make an informed decision.

There’s some work you can do on yourself before you submit to a script consultant’s criticism. We don’t need to go over it in detail, since we’ve already covered it in the sections dealing with your client’s reactions (and in the above-mentioned guide). Nonetheless, here are some things to consider when you’re in the hot seat:

• Check defensiveness at the door.
• Let go of your ego
• Be open to new ideas
• Be willing to kill your babies

In choosing a script consultant, you want someone who is qualified, someone you feel a rapport with, and someone with rates you can afford. But there are some things to be wary of. If the consultant guarantees they can get your script to the right people in town – for a price – really consider whether or not this is a legitimate set-up. While it’s true that some script consultants, and script consultant companies, do have connections and do pass along outstanding material – many of them don’t have any better connection than you do. If this is a service they offer, make sure it’s a separate service.

First and foremost you are going to them to get their advice on how to improve your material. Then, if you both agree it’s sellable, you can talk about using their services to help you gain representation or a sale. If you do choose this option, make sure you get a list of the people and places they are going to submit your material. One reason for this, which we’ve already discussed, is that you need to know where your material has been, so that you (or your agent) don’t take it to the same place. Also, by having the consultant get specific, you make them accountable.

Okay, so you’ve done your homework and picked a script consultant to work with. How can you maximize this experience?

• Write the best script you possibly can. Don’t give it to a script consultant if you know you can make it better. Only after you have exhausted ALL of your efforts should you hand it over.

• Ask tough questions and be prepared for tough answers. Ask the questions about your script (and writing in general) that you really want to know but might be afraid to ask – because of the answers you might receive.

• Don’t let the consultant get away with ambiguity. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification until you do. If the script consultant seems to be sugarcoating the feedback too much, ask them to give it to you straight.

• Don’t chitchat. When you get a chance to talk to them, use the time wisely. Get to work, ask questions, pick their brains.

• Utilize everything they offer. If they allow you to follow up, either by e-mail or phone, DO IT. It’s amazing how many writers never take advantage of this.

• Give them feedback on their service. If there are things you are genuinely dissatisfied with, don’t keep it to yourself. How else are they going to be able to serve you and future clients better?

I hope this article has helped you in moving at least one step closer to achieving a successful screenwriting or script consulting career. Please feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts and suggestions. And don’t forget to check out our exciting programs at

We look forward to helping you achieve all of your writing and consulting dreams!

“As a screenwriter, Derek Rydall has sold, optioned, or been hired on assignment for over 20 film and TV projects. He has developed projects for the producer of Ghost, RKO, U/A, Miramax, Saturn (Nick Cage), and many indie producers, as well as worked as a staff writer for Fox, Disney, and Deepak Chopra. As a story consultant/script doctor, Derek has helped writers, producers, actors, and directors turn books into screenplays, secure millions in financing, make six-figure script deals, get hired to exec produce, direct, star in their movies, obtain major distribution, and win awards. And as an author, Derek's book, I Could've Written a Better Movie than That!: How to Make Six Figures as a Script Consultant-- Even if You're Not a Screenwriter, is due out October by Michael Wiese Publishing. For more info, you can check out his site,, email or call (661) 296-4991.”

Ten Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters

By Derek Rydall

“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of,”
-- Unknown

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones,”
-- Benjamin Franklin

Think of this as a quick-reference for instant inspiration – whether you’re a screenwriter or script consultant:

Write something every day – whether it’s your project or an assignment. If you find yourself stuck just staring at a blank screen, try staring at a great script instead -- and try to figure out how it’s put together. It might inspire you to get your own writing done. The point here is to keep exercising and refining your craft, building your knowledge, and keeping the momentum – all of which will give you a competitive edge. This isn’t about becoming a workaholic. It’s about breaking through the inertia of complacency. It’s so easy to get comfortable, to settle for the status quo, to rationalize why you’re not doing what you know you need to in order to succeed. “I don’t fee like it,” is not a viable excuse anymore.

This may sound like a contradiction to the above habit. It’s not. In fact, without this one, you won’t be able to sustain the level of quality and productivity referred to above. Unless you’re able to take a break (whether it’s ten minute, an hour, a day, or a week) and recharge, you’ll soon be booking a room in burnout city.

A messy, disorganized office is an energy sapper if there ever was one. Not just because it takes longer to find that important document under that stack of unopened bills, but also because it literally pulls power from your psychic field. Every little ‘toleration’ you put up with burns fuel that could be put to much better use in growing your business.

Some of us are morning people. Others are struck with the muse at the stroke of midnight. If you don’t already know, find out what time of day you work best, and gear your most labor-intensive activities for that time period. (Of course, if you’re on a deadline, you might have to work around the clock, but that’s a different issue.) If you schedule your activities based on your energy cycles, you will find your productivity take a quantum leap. For example, I have two periods when I work the best – late morning and late afternoon. So I try to schedule the heavy-lifting (writing, analyzing) during those hours. When I first get up, I need to ease into the day’s work, so I do more preparatory work, like going over the day’s schedule, straightening up the office, e-mails. Once I’m warmed up, I crack open the script or writing file and get to work for a few hours. I break for lunch, meditation, make calls, work out, do some errands – and start my second writing period. Then it’s home for family time, dinner, and bedtime stories. But not my bedtime. Because at night, my energy cycle is perfect for opening mail, paying bills, filing, during simple research – tasks that don’t take a lot of energy.

The point of this example is that if I opened my mail and paid my bills in the late morning, I would waste my most productive energy cycle (not to mention become depressed) which I couldn’t make-up very easily at night during my bill paying, mail-opening time. Make sense? It may take some time to find your perfect energy-schedule, but it’s worth the experimentation. I’m still making adjustments.

Treat every project like it’s the job of your dreams – and you’ll soon attract more and more of your dream jobs. Why? Because you don’t get what you want in life, you get what you are. Ghandi said we must become the change we want to see in the world. Likewise, we must become the kind of person who would get the kind of jobs we want in the world. This is another one of those universal principles I keep slipping in here. If it gives you a headache to try and make sense of it, don’t. Just give it a shot and see what happens.

To have what others don’t, you must do what others won’t. The average person – and for that matter, the average script consultant – has a tendency to take the path of least resistance. So you must take the road less traveled. Stay open at the top. Maintain a Beginner’s Mind. Besides continued study in related and complimentary fields – read and investigate areas outside of your field – and outside of show business. Some of the most innovative ideas have come from people adapting concepts they discovered in completely unrelated fields.

This is another relative rule. A stockbroker acts and dresses quite differently than a tennis pro. In the entertainment industry, an executive acts and dresses differently than an actor. Even more specific, different clients will have different expectations. In general, business casual seems to work best.
You also want to have an updated resume and work samples readily available. Do your homework, show up to appointments with all the right gear to get the job done, and treat each client or prospect with the utmost respect and value.

During work hours, especially in a home office, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for distraction from well-meaning friends and family members. In the most diplomatic tone you can muster, kindly inform them that you’re at work not at home. This is a real business, not a hobby. You’ll talk to them after hours, or on your break.

Feed your mind and body with high quality nourishment -- and exercise. I know this is obvious to most people -- yet most people still don’t do it. Writing and consulting is hard work that requires real endurance. If you want to be a high-performance person, you need to run on high-octane fuel.

The most successful people, in this or any field, know who they are so they can be true to that. They also know their strengths – so they can play to them – and their weaknesses -- so they can compensate for them.

If you’d like to take this to the next level, check out THE WRITE SYSTEM or THE SCRIPT CONSULTANT INSTITUTE at

We look forward to helping you achieve all of your writing and/or script consulting goals!

“As a screenwriter, Derek Rydall has sold, optioned, or been hired on assignment for over 20 film and TV projects. He has developed projects for the producer of Ghost, RKO, U/A, Miramax, Saturn (Nick Cage), and many indie producers, as well as worked as a staff writer for Fox, Disney, and Deepak Chopra. As a story consultant/script doctor, Derek has helped writers, producers, actors, and directors turn books into screenplays, secure millions in financing, make six-figure script deals, get hired to exec produce, direct, star in their movies, obtain major distribution, and win awards. And as an author, Derek's book, I Could've Written a Better Movie than That!: How to Make Six Figures as a Script Consultant-- Even if You're Not a Screenwriter, is due out October by Michael Wiese Publishing. For more info, you can check out his site,, email or call (661) 296-4991.”

Monday, August 29, 2005

7 Deadly Mistakes Screenwriters Make When Using a Script Consultant

7 Deadly Mistakes Screenwriters Make When Using a Script Consultant

Dear Frustrated Screenwriter or Producer,

Having a hard time knowing which Script Consultant to use on your latest script?

Unsure of what level of feedback you really need?

Or maybe you are just hesitant to use a script consultant because of all the horror stories you've heard from others.

I wouldn't be surprised if all the above were true.

The truth is that there is so much misinformation and wrong assumptions made about Script Consultants in the industry today, that most screenwriters would rather avoid the whole industry, than take a chance on finding an honest consultant that will actually deliver on their promises.

Unfortunately, screenwriters who avoid script analysis exclude themselves from one of the most powerful ways to not only improve one script, but to accelerate their whole career.

In fact, having your script evaluated for all the reasons scripts get rejected, puts you on the top ten percent of all scripts submitted to the industry!

I might still be waiting tables if it weren't for the skills of a Script Consultant. And I know this is true for hundreds of working writers today.

But Now You Have No Excuse! Introducing...


The aim of this Special E-Course is to not only show you the most fatal mistakes screenwriters make when using script consulting services, but more importantly, what you need to do to avoid falling into the same traps.

Utilizing over a decade’s worth of personal experience and about 100 years of combined wisdom, this free e-course is jam-packed with so much information it could be an entire workshop worth hundreds of dollars!

Sign on today and over the next three weeks here’s what you’ll learn…

* The one fatal mistake screenwriters make that kills thousands of careers each year.

* The five factors of a superior script consultant and how knowing them will ensure you know how to choose the right script consultant, the right service, at the right price – every time!

* How to prepare in a way that lets you get much more than your money’s worth!

* How to manage the consultant session to increase the level of feedback you receive tenfold!

* What mistake could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars – even if you’ve found the best script consultant in the world.

* What to look for in a script consultant service so you will know 100% that you’re not throwing your money away.

* A step-by-step method that will help you use your script’s feedback to create the most effective rewrites possible – and take your script to the next level.

* How to turn your script consultant into a powerful industry contact!

And that’s really just the beginning!

By the end of the course you will be more prepared than 99% of all screenwriters when it comes to choosing and using a script consultant.

Who knows, your first experience with the right script consultant could end up being your first step to becoming a professional screenwriter in Hollywood!

So don't wait! Sign up for this FREE course now -- just click on the link above or copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Warning! I’ve already received death threats from fellow script consultants for making this e-course available.

Okay, not really. But I know some of them would like to ring my neck!

But in the interest of taking this industry to the next level, I feel compelled to tell you everything you need to know to get the most out of a script consultant – so that you can get the most out of your career.

However, this e-course won’t be free forever. There’s just too much valuable information in here (and, frankly, my marketing and business managers are pushing me to make it a product for sale).

In other words, if you plan on ever using a script consultant again – or know anyone who does – Submit your info to get your FREE copy of this course now!

Here's to your writing success,

Derek Rydall

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Technorati Profile

Scriptwriter Central - Script Consultant Institute

Scriptwriter Central's "The Script Consultant Institute":

At SCI we offer unprecedented and extensive training programs designed to take both aspiring and already experienced script consultants, and transform them into the elite providers of script analysis in all areas of the film industry.


In fact, because we understand the huge need for this kind of training in the marketplace, we have put together comprehensive programs that cover all areas that make up the business of professional script consulting -- from in-depth analysis to advanced marketing systems!

The Accelerated Script Consultant Certification Course

The Accelerated Certification Course was designed, from the bottom up, to take anybody, anywhere -- with any amount of experience -- and within a few short months, give them all the information and support they need to start a very real career as a professional script consultant.
In an 8-week teleclass (24 jam-packed hours), taught by industry pros, students will get all the top training, technology, and tools necessary to build a script consultant business capable of earning up to $100,000 or more a year.

Utilizing over a hundred years of combined experience from expert script consultants, development execs, producers, and professional screenwriters, you'll be led through a step-by-step training system, where you'll learn how to:

� Master your script reading, writing, and analytical skills.
� Provide expert, Story Analysis, Book Analysis, and Coverage
� Become a Script Doctor and boost your income by several thousand a month.
� Market your clients material for sale -- and even be attached as a partner.
� Create the perfect advertising and target the right venues
� Master client communication and feedback skills, Negotiate the deals, create the contracts, and collect payment, Clarify your mission & compose a plan of action

And that’s just the beginning!

To Learn More About How to Make Six Figures as a Certified Script Consultant, click on the link above.

How to Analyze a Script Like a Pro

Are you one of the thousands of industry professionals who’s career depends on your ability (or the ability of those you hire) to masterfully analyze, cover, or develop scripts?

Are you a screenwriter who would like to know how to do an in-depth evaluation of your own screenplay, so you can make it bullet-proof from all the reasons readers reject scripts?

Then you need to learn “How to Analyze a Script Like a Pro.”

Through a series of in-depth audio teleseminars, hands-on analysis exercises, and instructor feedback, this course will take even the greenest development intern, agent trainee, or aspiring screenwriter, and arm them with the cutting-edge ability to evaluate and develop screenplays to their fullest potential!

For more info on this, click the link above.

We look forward to helping you create a 6-figure script consulting business -- even if you're not a screenwriter!

Scriptwriter Central -- Your #1 Resource for Everything Script and Screen Writing!

Scriptwriter Central -- Your #1 Resource for Everything Script and Screenwriting!:

Led by Screenwriter, Script Consultant and Published Author, Derek Rydall, THE SCRIPT CLINIC is a team of script consultants, development execs, and industry pros with experience that spans throughout the Industry.

Our consultants have been on staff for Fox and Disney, developed projects for Saturn, RKO, United Artists, Miramax, New Regency, Sony, WideAwake, Wildrice, Fine Line, Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Deepak Chopra, the creators of �Air Force One,� �Ghost,� worked one-on-one with many writers, indie producers, and executives from around the world � and more!

As a direct result of our consulting, clients have secured millions in financing, made 6-figure screenwriting deals, book deals, been hired to executive produce, direct, and star in their own movies, obtained major distribution, and won multiple film awards.

Here is Some of What You'll Get At The Script Clinic:

� In-Depth Script Analysis
� Overnight Delivery*
� Comprehensive Script Reports (Up To 20 Pages)
� One-on-One Brainstorming with Industry Pros
� Unprecedented Unlimited Follow-Up**
And depending on which package you purchase, this is just the beginning!

Bottom line, in today's highly competitive, overly crowded marketplace, a writer needs to invest in themselves and their business -- the script -- in order to succeed.

Give yourself the winning advantage with The Script Clinic!

We look forward to helping you achieve all of your screenwriting goals!

Scriptwriter Central - Home of the Best and Most Valuable Scriptwriting Resources Online!

Scriptwriter Central - Home of the Best and Most Valuable Scriptwriting Resources Online!: "'Welcome to Scriptwriter Central, where writing minds meet to create movie magic. We've got everything you need to grow as a writer, stay inspired, create great screenplays, and make the connections that get them sold!

And if you'd like to learn how to make 6-figures as a script consultant -- even if you're not a screenwriter -- this is the only place you can find out how! Check out the Script Consultant Institute for more info!

Take it to the Next Level!

I look forward to seeing you there!

Derek Rydall
Founder, "

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Making Money Writing

Do you want to make money as a writer? I've already talked about the need for a plan. A clear goal. That's the WHAT. And I've talked about a strong reason for achieving it. That's the WHY. But you also need to BELIEVE that you CAN achieve it. "Whatever you can conceive, you can achieve...if you believe."

Now you've probably heard about this idea, the notion of belief. But I want to take it one step further. You don't just need to believe you can be or do need to believe you're ALREADY IT NOW.

Life responds to us by corresponding to Its own nature in us. In other words, if you want to manifest more wealth as a writer, you must FEEL LIKE A WEALTHY WRITER NOW. That feeling tone is literally the substance of the wealth you desire. And it will act as a magnet, attracting to you the right opportunities to manifest the wealth you desire.

But how do you generate that 'feeling tone'? There are many ways, but one easy way is through creative visualization. I'm sure you've heard of this process...however, I want you to use it in a slightly different way...

Take a moment to get still, close your eyes, and imagine yourself living the successful writing life, being and doing what a wealthy writer does. Now become aware of what it FEELS like to be the wealthy writer. Really pay attention to the feeling tone, the vibration in your body. Where is it located? How does it feel? Let go of the pictures and just stay with the feeling. Allow it to expand, to fill your whole body, to expand beyond your body...until you're literally swimming in this feeling...

Now make a commitment to yourself to become more acquainted with this feeling tone, to make it a part of your everyday life, to contemplate it, think about it, and dwell in it more.

As you do this on a regular basis, that feeling tone of being a wealthy writer will become embodied as a permanent part of your consciousness. And as that happens, it will begin to attract to you its equivalent in your experience.

This is the law of cause and effect at its very basic operation. And now you know how to put it into operation on your behalf...

Until we talk again...keep feelin' it!


Monday, August 22, 2005

The Wealthy Writer

The Wealthy Writer

Hi, folks! Sorry it's taken me so long to start this blog. I have been living what I teach -- writing for a living! I currently have several screenplay projects in development, a book due out this fall, and another one due out early next year. In addition, I'm about to launch a site created for screenwriters and script consultants, -- check it out. And sign up for the free e-courses and audio series, the 7 power principles to explode your screenwriting career.

Even if you're not a screenwriter, the principles will help you get focused, create a clear writing plan, and begin moving toward it's fulfillment.

And that's the idea I want to leave with you today...If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. If you haven't already done so, take some time today to begin clarifying what you want to achieve as a writer over the next 1, 5, 10 years. And WHY you want to achieve it. Hint: making lots of money is not enough. And it's not really true. If you look deeper, you'll discover that you're never really doing anything just for money. It's what the money can buy you that really motivates you.

On another level, if the only reason you're doing something is for the money and what the money can buy you, I would suggest reevaluating what you're doing. I believe we all come here for a specific purpose, to give our unique gifts, talents, and abilities -- to add real value to people's lives. The most powerful WHY you can have is one that motivates you beyond merely your own personal gain. When you attach your goal not only to personal gain, but to how it can benefit others, you create a powerful fuel to propel you forward.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, please sign up for the free audio course, The 7 Power Principles in The Write System, at

Until next time...keep writing!