Two Books to recommend, make that three



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  • Two Books to recommend, make that three

    William C. Martell-The Secrets of Action Writing

    Denny Martin Flinn-How NOT to Write a Screenplay

    anything from Syd Field..

    If you write action, grab Martell's book. If you want to know why your screenplay doesn't quite work, get Flinn's book, if you want to know how to get started, get Syd's book. If these books don't help you in some way, God help you!


  • #2
    'How not to write a screenplay...'

    Loved it, because it showed some terrible examples of screenwriting, and then it was explained why they were so bad.

    Don't like Syd Field's books, though. His stuff's a lot like those 'how to' books on brain surgery.... Not that I've read many books on brain surgery.

    'STORY', by R. McKeee is a good read. Grab a copy of that.


    • #3
      How Not to... carry on writing bad

      How Not To Write a Screenplay is a great book. So much so that I wrote a review of it at Amazon.

      It's great to see that other people keep mentioning it in their top lists. If I started over reading books again, I wished I'd read How to first, I learn't so much from it.

      Although, on a down point, I felt the longer the book went on, the less effective it got (I loved the examples too much I guess ;-) ...but the first 60% to 70% of the book is wonderfully helpful.

      EJ (daniel)


      • #4
        Re: How Not to... carry on writing bad

        Syd Field is only good for beginners...


        • #5
          All those listed above, and (some of the titles may be slightly off -- this is written away from home)

          - That book with 500 tips, by Jennifer Lerch
          - Screenwriting Updated
          - Writers guide to heros and heroines
          - Screenwriting, from the 'Teach Yourself' series
          - The Writer's Partner


          • #6
            Thanks Charli!

            - Bill


            • #7
              I would also place The Secrets of Action Screenwriting on the first place.
              Second book, that helped me quite a bit was Trottier's Screenwriter's Bible and for the third I would say Writing Beyond the Rules by Jeff Rush & Ken Dancyger.


              • #8
                Bill Martell,

                I was looking for your book "William C. Martell-The Secrets of Action Writing" today and was unable to find it. I did pickup the second book on StRogue listed.

                I have another large book store I will try tomorrow.

                There isn't a secret book store I should be looking to find it is there?



                • #9
                  Re: Bill Martell,

                  Psssst! Check his website.

                  I intend to do some shopping their soon. If his book is anything like his daily tips, it'll have a prominent place on my bookshelf ... right next to my rare anthology of rodeo midget porn.

                  Check out his booklets too. I'm a fiend for genre-driven stuff, and that's Bill's bread-n-butter.


                  • #10
                    Re: Bill Martell,


                    Thanks ... I found it... funny how simple that is .. one day I just may learn to work the easy routes instead of the hard way...

                    <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--> thinks about what he just said... shakes head.<!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->
                    nah .. never happen ...

                    thx again ..



                    • #11
                      Secrets Of Action Screenwriting

                      The book is back in Amazon - but I think the same problem with their ordering persists.

                      The reason why I stopped selling through Amazon in the first place is that they ordered small quantities... several times a month. Often with only 5 days between orders. They never increased their orders so that they would have more on hand. So they were always out of stock and I was always shipping books. Unlike Sam French and Writers Store which order a months worth of books all at once. My day job became shipping books to Amazon... too much work (and Amazon pays less than regular book stores).

                      They want the book back in stock, and I've agreed... but their first order was about a third of what they used to sell in a month. I hope this time they will figure it all out...

                      You can still get the book for $4 off through my website.

                      - Bill

                      PS: The book *is* back in stock at Amazon... but it;s still $4 cheaper through my website.


                      • #12
                        Re: Secrets Of Action Screenwriting

                        Bill's book is great. He makes it seem so simple, and doesn't go off on intellectual sidetrips.


                        • #13
                          Okay, that was then, this is now -

                          Secrets of Screenwriting by Bill Martell (that's still on the list)
                          A Writer's Journey (forgot the author) a must read
                          Screenwriter's Bible (only to get an idea of format)

                          Forget Syd Field, for those books help to get you to
                          understand the concept of screenwriting, they don't help
                          when you actually write a script, at least, not for me.

                          Stick with Martell's book and a Writer's Journey for content,
                          and the bible for format only.



                          • #14
                            I will go to my grave screaming at the top of my lungs to any and all who will listen that the ONE BOOK that helped me THE MOST was Martell's.

                            Simply the best there is on not only Action writing, but pacing and structure in general. Plus, his voice throughout the book is tons of fun!


                            • #15
                              Martell's book

                              I just got it in the mail two days ago.
                              It's great.

                              I got it through his website -- fast service, four dollars off, and he even threw in a complimentary blue book about pitching.

                              On top of that, he signed it!

                              Whatta dude.