500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Reader by Jennifer Lerch



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  • 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Reader by Jennifer Lerch

    Thought it interesting to get a reader's POV on the craft. Anyone read this book? Thumbs up?

  • #2
    Good book. Nothing groundbreaking.

    Covers much the same ground as this board, and gives comparable answers to comparable questions. The advice squares pretty well with that given by pros and industry people that I've known.

    As with any screenwriting manual, I prefer to use this book as tool to think about screenwriting in new ways. I don't take the book as the last word, or the only word, on the subject. I could probably find a valid exception to any one of the 500 points.

    It's not the kiss of death to break one or several of the rules of screenwriting, but it is essential for me to understand that I am in fact violating widely-held conventions. I don't want to do this without a good reason, and I want to fully understand the options that I forgo.


    • #3
      I've found the best way to beat a Hollywood Reader is with a very large baseball bat.

      But that's just me...


      • #4
        I read it - don't remember one thing from it that I actively apply to writing my scripts.


        • #5
          Simplistic to the point of being redundant. Enlightening tips such as: "You're protaganist needs motivation" and "Your antogonist needs to be in conflict with your hero." The entire book is composed of little two and three sentence paragraphs, numbered 1-500 as you probably imagine. I'd stick with Denny Marin Flynn's book on how not to piss of readers.


          • #6
            Personally, I probably wouldn't bother with this book, because the number 500 in the title suggests there are far too many tips in the book for them to be very high quality.

            I'd probably be more interested if there were only 21 tips or so, which would increase their individual quality and also allow more elaboration on each one.

            But again, I haven't read it, so maybe I'm judging the book by its cover.


            • #7
              If your goal is to get a reader's POV on the craft, I recommend it.

              And although much of what is covered is indeed what should be the basics, the majority of unbroken writers do not do them, which is why she wrote the book in the first place.

              A good beginning book for a beginning writer, no more no less.