Or as one screenwriter told me, most people think they know how to give notes on a screenplay because they no how to read. If script A is chosen over script B because half of it is set in China and that gets it Chinese financing, picking that movie to study does you know good. What should be studied is the process and not the end result. Many of the best screenwriters are script doctors who are rewriting scripts where their names never appear. Most movies bought are not made, good and bad ones.
Many get tossed aside because a studio chief was fired and the new person gets rid of everything in development. In college, our text books were Screen writing bible, Making a good script great and How to write a screenplay in 21 days. Like what Hollywood looks for in the way the writer expresses himself. What I see so far in script style is fragmented sentences to express the action as if to bait the reader to continue reading. What too many scripts? Hire readers that are working with production companies and the studios.
While it is primarily for directing, it has really valuable information on screenwriting. I have 6 of the ten books listed. And because of his books I analyze movies better and now I can pinpoint exactly where the acts begin and end. You can learn a lot just by watching. I say ok I got it. Both movies are not structured the same but as William Martell wrote.. Edelstein, and another by V. Thanks for this list. Two are missing though: Hi Stephanie, Thanks for all the great information!
Lots of useful books, but oh my god is there a lot of useless redundancy, complete fabrication, imagined gospel and sometimes instantly out dated drek. These books are invaluable but i think reading amazing scripts is just as important. Two i cant recommend enough are Nebraska and Micheal Clayton, they are beautifully written, enjoy! Hi Stephanie, I think I will be able to do this blog thing lol. My response to David is from what I read in I believe the Screenwriters Bible, the Hollywood Standard which I have is from the shooting script viewpoint. Anatomy of Story by John Truby whose work on genre is most interesting and useful to fellow British screenwriters, and,.
I permanently needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I implement a portion of your post to my website? Just read them all.
You never know what might click for you. For someone like me who is more interested in writing for TV series, this means adapting the advice on structure to suit.
Glad to hear that, Beth. Here are my recommendations for the best TV writing books. Thank you for the list, but I would like to know which one teaches to write focusing on the acting of characters not on the dialogue and I think that could be artistically writing. Any readers have a suggestion?
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. . $ 56 Used from $ 41 New from $ 1 Collectible from $ Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers "Tom and Ben are two of the writers currently working in Hollywood. Save $ on orders $+ 1 Applicable Promotion Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers Telling Lies for Fun & Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block . I love his style and greatly appreciate that he has shared these practical tips on How To February 22,
I agree with Julian, Syd Field is quite outdated, formulaic and prescriptive. I use Misery a lot because it has a near-perfect structure, which makes it easy to look at the way scenes, sequences and the whole screenplay can be designed using the same structural tools. As a screenwriter, I felt the time was right for a paradigm shift, so I went for it! My book is called Screenwriting Unchained and it has reached the 1 bestselling spot in screenwriting on Amazon in the U.
Looks like many writers find it both useful and refreshing, so I add it here just in case. So appreciate your thoughtful comments and great that you written a book as well. It breaks down every single element of what and why, keeping writers pointed towards creative originality AND a screenplay that producers and large audiences will be interested in. I am a voracious reader of screenplay books, and most of these choices are staples to my library. It is an enthralling study of the craft from a unique perspective and something new is learned on every page. Is screenwriting for animation the same than screenwriting for movie?
If not, what is the difference? Can you please give us samples of screenwriting for animation film? Animation and live action movies share the same underlying story structure. I recommend reading scripts for animated movies which you can often find by poking around online or at the library. I have written all my scripts based on the information from these two books! I reread each of them when I get an idea for another script. It is also very entertaining. Hi Michael — Great question! By this I mean, read the books most important to the type of script you want to write, whether that is an indie, a prestige pic or a large-scale studio movie.
Screenwriting books can also help us SELL screenplays. That makes you much more likely to sell your script or get hired. Mythic Structure For Writers Question for you: What books are missing from this list? Can you do better? Email will not be published required. Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much for these recommendations! Dean Balsamo The Martell Books are great. Stephanie Palmer Appreciate your comment, Dean. Stephanie Palmer Appreciate the suggestions, Babu. Ordering it now… Thanks!
Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Mark. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Nick. Anthony Mouasso Here is another one. Anthony Mouasso Sorry, I forgot the link. Speedo There are sooooo many good ones.. Stephanie Palmer Glad these have been helpful for you. Kim Falconer Thank you for this list, Stephanie.
Very supportive, and inspiring. Cheers again for your fabulous blog! Stephanie Palmer Appreciate your comment, Mark. I like the debate! Stephanie Palmer Thanks for your great comment, Rob. Andy I agree with much of this. Susanna This list is a great start. Stephanie Palmer So helpful, Susanna! Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much. Helise Flickstein Dara Marks was already mentioned, but her book helped me personally. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Helise. Floyd Marshall Definitely going to check out some of these books. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Floyd.
Dialogue techniques, suspense techniques, how to create curiosity, interest and so on. I think is essential. And of course the great William C. Scene secrets blue book. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Roberto! Stephanie Palmer I know Karl Iglesias has lots of fans. Matt Only missing 3 of these books.
Stephanie Palmer Appreciate it, Matt. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Chris. Stephanie Palmer Appreciate the recommendation, Bree.
Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Adam. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, David. Stephanie Palmer Hi Beatrice, Thanks for your comment! Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Lisa. Lisa Kovanda To me, the thing was that those agents, managers, producers, executives read about my job as a screenwriter. Anyone interested in screenwriting books should read Screenwriting Zenah Hi Lisa and James. Mary Ann Blinkhorn This is an excellent list. Adam Watch and deconstruct movies and genres. Colin Holmes Seems to me a few folks are missing the point.
Stephanie Palmer Well said, Colin. Jon Miles Great list. I agree about Poetics. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Jon. I love all these new book recommendations. Dava Does anyone have any suggestions of books on writing original tv scripts? Stephanie Palmer I agree! Marcus Pidek Hi, Stephanie! I have Movies For Profit. Whoops, looks like I wrote a book instead of a letter. Sorry, got carried away. Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much, Marcus. Roberto I forgot to mention: Linda Seger wrote a recommendation for the back of the book, so hope you all will like it too Many Thanks Zara Reply. Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much, Zara.
I love writing exercises as a way to loosen up the writing muscles. Steve Cuden While these books are all excellent, I do highly suggest you consider adding 2 incredible books: Stephanie Palmer Appreciate your recommendations, Steve. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Padraic. Tim Lorge I think someone asked about TV writing. Stephanie Palmer Great suggestions, Tim. David Bishop I use the chapter on rewriting a treatment with my postgrad creative writing students.
Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much, Karen. Dimen Could you find an agent for me please? Stephanie Palmer Hi Dimen, Thanks for your comment. Tianna Thanks for this list! Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much, Roberto. Really appreciate your contribution. Sherif Ali Tianna, I strongly suggest: Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Sherif.
Rahul Roshan I am grateful for this list. Stephanie Palmer Thanks for your comment. David Rahul — you seem to be under the impression that if one can read a screenplay, they should be able to write a screenplay. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Alejandra! I will check them out. Hector J B In college, our text books were Screen writing bible, Making a good script great and How to write a screenplay in 21 days.
Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Hector. Larry Alton Nobody goes into show business because they love to read. Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much, Patricia. Eli Yes that is a great book. Eli I have 6 of the ten books listed. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Eli. Stephanie Palmer Many thanks, Ron. Carole Thanks for this list. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Carole. Don Mousted Hi Stephanie, Thanks for all the great information! Stephanie Palmer Thanks so much, Don. Kennedy Lots of useful books, but oh my god is there a lot of useless redundancy, complete fabrication, imagined gospel and sometimes instantly out dated drek.
Lee These books are invaluable but i think reading amazing scripts is just as important. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Lee. Steve Mitchell Great list Stephanie. Stephanie Palmer Thanks, Steve. Tom Can screenwriting be learnt from a book or teacher? Some folks will tell you this is too many queries to run at the one time. None of them are right. There are no absolutes beyond this point. You are stepping beyond the rim. You can choose to spend your waiting time however you wish.
Writing your next book is a good way to go. Mosey over to the Absolute Write forums, make some friends, and find out all the stuff you should have done before you sent out your query. To put it in perspective, I waited three months just to get replies on some queries for my first ms. I spent five months waiting to hear back on a full which incidentally, was a rejection. That, or complete basketcase.
Step 11 — Learn from your rejections. Because you will be rejected. I will say this now — those ladies had it easy. I took seventy on COLD. I had it easy. I know writers who got rejected over three hundred times before their ms got repped. Imagine the stones it takes to keep sending out queries after being shit-canned three hundred times. Another rejction arrived in the inbox of my gmail account as I was writing this blog entry. Most of your rejections will be forms. And this will infuriate you. It offers no feedback, no advice on how to improve. Ninety nine percent of your rejections will look like this.
Especially after rejection on a partial or full.
The top third is mostly red. There are a couple of hopeful little green rectangles in that sea of rejection, closely followed by rejections in the next column along meaning my partial got shit-canned. But as you scan further down the names, the red grows fewer and farther between, and green starts to dominate. Throughout the query process, I was revising both my letter and my MS.
Sick of watching me trying to plant my lips on my own pogo stick? Yes, so am I. But again, this is the status-quo. Everyone needs a hug once in a while, especially querying writers. The only belief that matters in this equation is your own. The only person who needs to believe you can do this is you. Everything else is window dressing. The people who reject you? The critics on your forums who offer vicious or empty feedback?
The people who give you a funny little look when you mention your book? The people who are waiting for you to fail? It only matters what you think, what you believe. No more, no less than that. Found your blog via the AW thread on successful queries. Love your voice, attitude, and tenacity. Thank you times a jillion for this post. Just what I needed to hear while beginning my rep journey. Good luck on the road to representation.
No wonder you got an agent.
I found you on AW while checking out query letters that worked. Feeling a bit sunnier because you made me smile. Thanks for that, stranger. I shall be subscribing to this blog to read your future posts. Gosh, I wish we were friends. I know what you mean about the rejection thing. My best advice is to try to channel the negativity into the positive I know I sound like some hippy, self-help jerkoff when I say that. But emotion is fuel. All the anger and resentment I felt while getting rejected on my first ms got used to fuel the creation of my second. The query letter that scored me representation is also posted […].
You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Jay Kristoff is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of sci-fi and fantasy. This is his website.
You have made a terrible mistake coming here. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Jay Kristoff — Literary Giant I am an author of stuff. This is my blog. Step 9 — Wait. Then wait some more. So yeah, writing your next book while you wait? Probably a good idea. Step 10 — Wait. Take a deep breath and scream them.