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Adapting to Online Trends: Writing Content for TikTok and Shorts

February 16, 2024
5 min read time

It’s no secret that shorter videos are where it’s at these days. According to Google Q2 2023 results, YouTube Shorts hit two billion monthly views, surpassing TikTok and Instagram Reels. Short and sweet content is here to stay. Video content now has a greater organic reach than imagery, and TikTok and YouTube users are now the homes of a passionate community of creators. 

If you’re interested in writing content for TikTok and Shorts to establish your brand and garner attention to your work, here are some tips to help get you started.

Read More: Developing Your Screenwriting Brand Part 1: The Statement

A Cellphone with Logo on the Screen, Adapting to Online Trends: Writing Content for TikTok and Shorts

Who Are You?

TikTok and YouTube are both places that thrive on community and community engagement, so it’s vital to know who you are and what you have to offer to potential viewers. People want to know the real you, so this needn’t be super scripted or polished. The more authentic you are, the better. 

Of course, it helps to know a little bit about what you want to say before you present yourself or your work to the camera. 

Points to keep in mind: who you are, what you’ve written, and what you plan to offer through your TikToks or Shorts. Keep it short and sweet and under 60 seconds. 

A phone screen projecting YouTube Shorts while YouTube is on the TV in the background, Adapting to Online Trends: Writing Content for TikTok and Shorts

What Do You Write About?

TikTok and Shorts can be great avenues to introduce your work to the world and potentially gain a wider reach. This is why you might want to plan a series of posts that detail the type of writing you do your past projects, and any future projects you might want to tease.

Tell viewers what your preferred genre is and why. Explain what and who motivates your work. Talk about your characters and their backgrounds, and describe how they inspired your story.

And don’t forget to share any clips or pages from your work so viewers can get a real sense of your writing. 

Read More: Write Like It’s the Last Thing You’ll Ever Write!

Person in Beige Dress Shirt Sitting Beside Brown Wooden Table

Share Your Creative Process 

Sharing your creative process and any behind-the-scenes stories, either in real-time or not, of what it takes to be a screenwriter is another great thing to share on TikTok or Shorts. Feel free to share your hang-ups about the creative journey and what helps you bust through blocks, your tips and techniques when writing first drafts and breaking stories, and anything else you find interesting and helpful. 

If you have a future project or something in the work, walk the viewers through creating it. If you write on Final Draft software, you might want to get a little technical with your audience and share with them how you use it and any shortcuts that have made a difference in your writing. 

Also, consider doing bite-sized instructional videos on how you create characters or any advice on writing toward Act Two’s climax. Don’t be shy to get a little nerdy and geek out on what makes you the writer you are.

Remember—you’re educating and engaging with your audience by doing so! 

Ola (Patricia Allison) texting on her phone while working at the convenience store in 'Sex Education,' Adapting to Online Trends: Writing Content for TikTok and Shorts

Screenplays You Love or Hate 

There are a lot of opinions going around on TikToks and Shorts, so why not add your two cents? List your favorite screenplays and go over what you like about each script in separate posts. You can do the same by discussing the movies or screenplays you hate and what you don’t like about them. 

Remember to be more analytical about why you don’t like something rather than giving a rant since that’s not typically well-received. 

By choosing to share what you like (or dislike), you’re catering to a specific niche audience, and you could target more people directly to your account who will resonate with your content by using the best #hashtags for your posts. 

A Man Doing Blogging using Smartphone , Adapting to Online Trends: Writing Content for TikTok and Shorts

Movie and TV Reviews

You’re a screenwriter who probably watches a lot of movies and TV shows, so why not share what you like with your audience? Pop culture is always a popular and hotly debated topic online, so share your thoughts on the most trending movies and TV shows to attract new viewers to your page. 

The more thoughtful and real you are about what you have to share, the more likely people will connect with you. In turn, you will more likely stick around for what you come up with next. 

Read More: 7 Accounts To Follow On TikTok For Screenwriters

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