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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...    Books  ›  Screenwriting books. Moderators: W, Chris_MacGuffin
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  Author    Screenwriting books.  (currently 2405 views)
Dimitris
Posted: October 24th, 2009, 11:52am Report to Moderator
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Im going to buy from amazon Sid Fields SCREENPLAY THE FOUNDATIONS OF SCREENWRITING as Sandra Elstree suggest to me.

Is any other book worth buy it? ( i hope yes).......
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sniper
Posted: October 24th, 2009, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
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The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier has its moments too. It's a good start-up tool if you're new to the game. Just remember though, books can only teach you so much.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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Dimitris
Posted: October 24th, 2009, 6:46pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from sniper
The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier has its moments too. It's a good start-up tool if you're new to the game. Just remember though, books can only teach you so much.


Thanks Rob , i made the order .......

Im not new in the game of sceenwriting , but you can say im new in reading screenwriter's books.....
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BlazingStar
Posted: November 4th, 2009, 10:13pm Report to Moderator
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Michael Hauge-Writing Screenplays That Sell
I've recently finished this book and plan to read Save The Cat next.  Hauge's book discusses writing and also the business side. Worth a read, IMO.
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Baltis.
Posted: November 4th, 2009, 10:21pm Report to Moderator
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You have all the material at your fingertips on your computer... You should be more resourceful. Syd and Trottier can teach you the fundamentals of structure, but they can't teach you how to tell a better story. You either have it or you don't.  You can structure a shitty story flawlessly, but guess what? It's still a shitty story...

I've read every book you can think of about it. I've taken classes and workshops... I've talked to countless many. I've done it all... Talked to producers and agents. None of them gave me an idea for a screenplay.
G'luck
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rendevous
Posted: November 4th, 2009, 10:36pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Baltis.
You have all the material at your fingertips on your computer... You should be more resourceful. Syd and Trottier can teach you the fundamentals of structure, but they can't teach you how to tell a better story. You either have it or you don't.  You can structure a shitty story flawlessly, but guess what? It's still a shitty story...

I've read every book you can think of about it. I've taken classes and workshops... I've talked to countless many. I've done it all... Talked to producers and agents. None of them gave me an idea for a screenplay.
G'luck


He has a point. Bit downbeat like, but true.

I'd say it's not so much the initial ideas that make story. They come to you as you plan then write and rewrite. Er, I digress as usual.

If you've a fair idea what you're doing I found Denny Laine's "How Not To Write A Screenplay" invaluable as he points out all the mistakes people make. He does have the odd strange idea but don't we all?

The vast majority of it though I found to be spot on. Great examples from pro scripts from famous and not so famous films. It was about half the price of all those arse numingly dull books too.

You're welcome.

RV



Out Of Character - updated


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The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

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Adam
Posted: November 4th, 2009, 11:48pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Dimitris,

I would also recommend The Screenwriter's Bible from David Trottier. It will teach you the fundamental principals of story telling, structure and formatting (but it does go over the top a bit in the formatting department). It’s nice and easy to read and I do find myself opening it up now and again for something or another.

Adam
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Dimitris
Posted: November 5th, 2009, 2:39pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks guys for the feedback.

Unfortunately i have allready make the order so i can't consider buying some of the books you mention.

I dont expect from someone who wrote a book to teach me how to write.... I write for 30 months now , allready 4 features behind me , and i think im a good story teller ( or maybe a deluded one....). I want to buy these books because i have never take any cources and i feel its very UNprofessional to become a screenwriter without any practical knowledge.... Ok i have read many scripts, i  have learn many things from various sites but a book can be no harm.

Maybe it helps , maybe not.....

But im excited to read them. Im excited to anything in screenwriting........
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Baltis.
Posted: November 5th, 2009, 2:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dimitris
Thanks guys for the feedback.

Unfortunately i have already make the order so i can't consider buying some of the books you mention.

I dont expect from someone who wrote a book to teach me how to write.... I write for 30 months now , already 4 features behind me , and i think im a good story teller ( or maybe a deluded one....). I want to buy these books because i have never take any courses and i feel its very Unprofessional to become a screenwriter without any practical knowledge.... Ok i have read many scripts, i  have learn many things from various sites but a book can be no harm.

Maybe it helps , maybe not.....

But im excited to read them. Im excited to anything in screenwriting........


A simple trip to the library couldn't hurt... They have all these book and more, ya know. Also, if you're hell bent on reading up about screenwriting... The only book you really need to read is "The Devil's Guide to Hollywood" by Joe Eszterhas.  It's the single best book I've ever read covering the business. Sure it has little to do with structure and all that, but it educates you and prepares you for the bumpy road you're about to travel on should you venture off into the world of writing.

It's like this... A dictionary has a shit ton of words in it... Words you probably use everyday. How often do you pull it out a day and reference it? Screenwriting is no different. Once you learn what a word means, you seldom go back and try to learn what it means again. Same wiith screenwriting... Once you learn it, you  won't be going back time and time again trying to hammer out why the character cue's are placed where they are or how they are.  

Same with music... I've been playing professionally for almost 10 years -- unprofessionally for 14. You don't see me going back trying to learn how to chord a C or an F. I've learned and moved on.  

What is the meaning of this long rant? Well, check the books out and be done with it. Learn what you need to. Take notes and move on. Don't waste money on books you'll never read again. Waste the money on good software to write with. Movies you can study up on or an inflatable date...

G'luck
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Dimitris
Posted: November 5th, 2009, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Baltis.


A simple trip to the library couldn't hurt... They have all these book and more, ya know. Also, if you're hell bent on reading up about screenwriting... The only book you really need to read is "The Devil's Guide to Hollywood" by Joe Eszterhas.  It's the single best book I've ever read covering the business. Sure it has little to do with structure and all that, but it educates you and prepares you for the bumpy road you're about to travel on should you venture off into the world of writing.

It's like this... A dictionary has a shit ton of words in it... Words you probably use everyday. How often do you pull it out a day and reference it? Screenwriting is no different. Once you learn what a word means, you seldom go back and try to learn what it means again. Same wiith screenwriting... Once you learn it, you  won't be going back time and time again trying to hammer out why the character cue's are placed where they are or how they are.  

Same with music... I've been playing professionally for almost 10 years -- unprofessionally for 14. You don't see me going back trying to learn how to chord a C or an F. I've learned and moved on.  

What is the meaning of this long rant? Well, check the books out and be done with it. Learn what you need to. Take notes and move on. Don't waste money on books you'll never read again. Waste the money on good software to write with. Movies you can study up on or an inflatable date...

G'luck


Baltis thanks for the advices and the infos.... You know maybe you are right about the books , i hope they have some interesting things in them , not only structure.... We will see maybe they will help.....

P.S. A trip to library? Here in Greece you can't find a sreenwriting book in library.

P.S. 2 The books costs me only 16 euros( 21 dollars) so its not a big amount at all.
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Angry Bear
Posted: November 5th, 2009, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rendevous

If you've a fair idea what you're doing I found Denny Laine's "How Not To Write A Screenplay" invaluable as he points out all the mistakes people make. He does have the odd strange idea but don't we all?

If I remember correctly it was pretty funny too.

I agree with Baltis that no one can teach you how to tell a better story, however, maybe some people are like me, never short on ideas, but lack the skill to write a great script and reading and learning how to is something I really need to do.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: November 5th, 2009, 6:31pm Report to Moderator
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A book that's on my list to get is Steve Tesich's "Karoo". I would love to get inside the mind of this gentleman.

From Wikipedia:

His novel Karoo was published posthumously in 1998. Arthur Miller described the novel: "Fascinating—a real satiric invention full of wise outrage.” The novel was a New York Times Notable Book for 1998. The novel also appeared in a German translation as Abspann.

I MUST read this book late 2009 or beginning of 2010. I'm looking forward to it so very much! And I thank SOMEONE here on Simplyscripts for including it in one of there posts back, I don't know how long ago.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Dimitris
Posted: November 15th, 2009, 7:50am Report to Moderator
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The books are here... (The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier, Screenplay the foundation of screenwriting by Syd Field).

I was so excited and start reading imediately. Starting with Syd Field's book. It is nice to read such a passionate story about screenwriting and film making. If you live here you would understand. Noone here cares for such things!

Thanks everyone for the recomendations.

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Dimitris  -  November 15th, 2009, 11:35am
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Niles_Crane
Posted: November 15th, 2009, 9:22am Report to Moderator
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Bit late in the day, I know, but I'd also recommend J Michael Straczynski's "Complete Screenwriting", a great book by a great writer.

I'd also second Baltis' choice of the Eszterhas book, which is also excellent.
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skylightlynch
Posted: November 15th, 2009, 2:05pm Report to Moderator
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I recommend:
"Story" by Robert McKee
"Save The Cat" by Blake Snyder

Also, Blake's website still has all his blogs on there. Great stuff. Great Loss


"If somebody tells you your first script is good, it's because they are lying. It will be awful, trust me." - Blake Snyder
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