What book should I buy?



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  • What book should I buy?

    What screenwriting book will help me the most with outlining and building a succesful STORY for 120 pages? Also, what is wrong with SCREENPLAY, by Syd Field? It is supposed to be the authority, yet nobody metions it here.

    P.S.:Sorry about the double post. It didn't show up for 20 minutes, so I posted again.

  • #2
    I have gone through about a dozen or so of the most often recommended screenwriting how-to books.
    They all have some useful knowledge. You will find quite a bit of repetition about how to outline, etc.
    Syd Field is OK. Personally, I do not like a lot of the films he uses to illustrate his points and this turned me off a bit.
    As the best overview of screenwriting, with sections covering craft and business, I like, "The Screenwriters Bible" by David Trottier.
    For a simple and surprisingly good(considering the title)
    book to get started, try "How to Write a Movie in 21 Days : The Inner Movie Method" by Viki King.
    She does a good job of showing how to outline and bat out a script. I did not agree with every suggestion she had on what stories people at different ages are more apt to write. And, no, I did not get a script done in 21 days. But I did find her book helpful.(Yes, this is the book that the charecter, Christopher on the Sopranos, who wanted to quit the mob to write a script, reads).


    • #3
      Crusader - I don't think there is any ONE book that will have all the information that you need. I use three: Screenwriter's Bible, How Not To Write A Screenplay, and the Secrets to Action Screenwriting (by Bill Martell).

      Best thing to do is to head down to your local bookstore, thumb through some pages. The books you need will probably be there waiting for you under your very nose. If you can't afford the book, then do what we Americans do, read the book while you're there lol.



      • #4
        Books on Screenwriting

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        • #5
          Re: Books on Screenwriting

          Ugh, that URL is simply a long ad for the "Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets" book. I can't comment on the book since I've never read it, but I don't really care to:

          If you look at the Amazon.com listing for that book, you'll see the countless "fake" customer reviews/ratings posted by the same reviewer (which I assume has some sort of interest in seeing the book sell.) The "shill" didn't do a very good job of faking the different reviews. I have no idea of the "shill" reviewer's connection to the book, but it obviously doesn't reflect well on the book/author/publisher/etc.


          • #6
            Re: Books on Screenwriting

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            • #7
              Re: Books on Screenwriting

              CC, I agree with Antihero about David Trottier's book, The Screenwriter's Bible--it's a must-have. A couple of other favorites of mine are: Story Sense by Paul Lucey and Making A Good Script Great by Linda Seger.


              • #8
                Re: Books on Screenwriting

                CC, don't forget about buying coffee-table books,too, which adds a little working/writing fun to those writing days when the words just aren't flowing. Two of many that I have are:

                "Room To Write" by Bonni Goldberg. She provides anecdotes followed by writing exercises in reference to the stories.

                Another one, for reading pleasure only, is "The Writer's Desk" by Jill Krementz. She takes you through the closed doors of some of the most prestigiuos authors and shows you where they write (or did write) for inspiration, when they started writing and why, etc., etc., etc. It's very uplifting and makes you remember why you started writing in the first place.


                • #9
                  Thank you all for the advice. I'm leaning towards Syd Field and The Screenwriters Bible.


                  • #10
                    Best First Book: The Screenwriters Bible, David Trottier
                    Good Second Book: Making A Good Script Great, Linda Seger
                    Best Third Book: Story, Robert McNee

                    Thats my current recommendation list (although I have a few more often-mentioned books on order). The first one is a great, clearly written overview. The second one gets you thinking more about storytelling, and the third hits you with more great information than you'll ever take in from one reading.

                    I've got other screenwriting books reviewed at my site; www.sumaleth.com



                    • #11
                      Having read over twenty screenwriting books my picks are still:

                      How not to write a screenplay.

                      Story & anything else by that author. (I forgot how to spell his last name so i'll refrain from trying)

                      And any of Martell's books. (which you can purchase at www.scriptsecrets.com)


                      • #12
                        I recommend Dave Trottiers, The Screen Writers Bible. This book is used at the Universities throughout California, and considered holy in the industry.