View Full Version : Rate the following books.
09-26-2003, 12:32 PM
I was in Samuel French other day mulling. Wanted to hear some opinions of the following.
Advanced Screenwriting ~ Linda Segar
101 ~ Lew Hunter
Screenplay ~ Aronson
09-26-2003, 04:31 PM
If you mean "Screenwriting Updated" by Aronson, definitely that one. It's one of the best books on the market. Don't even think about buying the other two.
E J Pennypacker
09-26-2003, 11:29 PM
I couldnt even finish Lew's book.
09-27-2003, 12:47 PM
I don't have that Linda Segar book, but on the merits of her other work I'd say it's worth the money. Never heard of Aranson, and yes, I struggled to finish Hunters book. Unfortunately I put a crink in the binding in the process and was unable to return it. That bad. Half the book is an "example" of how to write in the form of a screenplay of his own; a painfully boring one at that. The other half is filled with brilliant writing tips such as: "your protaganist needs to be motivated and encounter obstacles", and "the antagonist wants to stop the hero." If you've never read a thing about SW it might help you, but I'd spend the money on Segar or Egri. My 0.02$
09-27-2003, 06:11 PM
I liked Lew hunter's book, but it's "Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434." In this book, Lew looks at many of techniques of screenwriting, but without the dogmatic approach of McKee and his ilk.
I would also second the recommendation of Lajos Egri's "Art of Dramatic Writing." Best book of its kind.
If you're looking to read, I would also recommend reading books about the industry, as well. Try non-fiction accounts of the business, like Goldman's books or "Shoot Out" by Bart and Guber.
I'm in the middle of John Lee Jr.'s "THe Producer's Business Handbook." It's very dry and factual--but very enlightening about the rest of the "creative" process.
09-28-2003, 01:55 AM
I liked Hunter's book very much. Never read the other two.
09-30-2003, 11:32 AM
If you've already written a screenplay or two, I'd bypass Lew's book. Though I gleaned much from it at the time, I think it may be too basic to warrant the money.
I just bought Linda Segar's Advanced Screenwriting last weekend. I've only had a chance to thumb through it, so it's too soon to say, but it touts "making the complex comprehensible" and that's exactly what I was looking for. :)
10-31-2003, 01:32 AM
Linda Segar could publish her grocery list and I'd buy it. You can't go wrong with anything she writes. I just got "Advanced Screenwriting" myself this week and I love it so far.
As for Lew Hunter...he's a joke. I can't believe he has a job at UCLA...that 434 book is more like 101.
On the other hand, "The Art Of Dramatic Writing" I will agree with as being the best book of its kind. I don't wholeheartedly agree with his "character before plot" theory but the rest of the book is pure gold.
10-31-2003, 04:13 PM
they all suck. your best guide is your instincts and emotions. unless you really suck, then use a template to replicate some other souless, godless drivel, hooray :)
11-02-2003, 03:16 PM
There you have it...the classic DD ten different opinions leaving you in a deeper quagmire than before...
What the heck, make it eleven...
Read, "The Writer's Journey", by Chris Vogler.
E J Pennypacker
11-02-2003, 09:53 PM
Well, Im glad I found at least two other people who hated Lews book as much as me. So this thread has been some help to me and my ego.
11-02-2003, 11:55 PM
I agree with User, the Aronson book is
GREAT, covering all sorts of structure.
11-13-2003, 05:28 PM
I thought the Hunter book stunk - totally padded with some useless script in the middle... I read one of Linda's books and while it seemed fine at the time, I can't say I remember one single thing about it...
No idea about the third book, but I will second the opine that Lajos Egri's book is amazing.
11-14-2003, 12:10 PM
I liked Hunter's book. It was the first real book on screenwriting I read (after Stracynski's, which covers film, tv, radio and stage so doesn't really count). It did wonders for me. It is EXTREMELY basic, as has been noted, don't know how it could come from a senior-level course. But if you need the basics, it covers you. Fundamentals, structure, outlining, beat sheets, acts, all the stuff you need to know coming in. If you already know that, skip it.
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