Sunday, August 17, 2014

Five Best Books for Aspiring Screenwriters

Great Gifts For Screenwriters

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Whether entering into you first script idea or polishing your fifth, a scriptwriter's brain should be regularly fed to tweak and sharpen those skills already learned and to remember those important ones when first venturing into this rewarding and challenging industry.

I've written and finished over six screenplays with as many halfway through, so I'm still considered a newbie. The French film Betty Blue started me off thinking about becoming a screenwriter, maybe as a foreign film with subtitles showing the dialogue in written form, motivated me. I don't know, but it wasn't until many years later that I started with one book that was a gift, reading it motivate me to stop putting off something I wanted to do. The enjoyment since then has been a superb journey through learning.

I've listed some books in order of what I think someone new to the screenwriter process should read and I have also included some sources of reading on the internet where you can get scripts to read. Reading scripts to films that have been made is the best way to learn how to write scripts. I have recommended five books, four for the new starter and one for those getting optioned. 
Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Save The Cat

They say that this book is the last you will ever need on screenwriting and one of the most famous and popular books on the subject of screenwriting. The book is fun and an easy read and penned with a laid-back style. It covers a lot of questions, offering simple solutions to common and uncommon problems to the screenwriting process. Save the cat moment is a trick where a character in the story gains the audiences favour and becomes more likable because he saves a cat or a dog. Save the cat moment can also be something that shows a compassionate side to the person which is often used with bad or evil characters, giving them depth. Anyone thinking about screenwriting from action, comedy, family to any high concept blockbuster, should have a copy of Save the Cat.

500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader: Writing the Screenplay the Reader Will Recommend

500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader

500 Ways To Beat The Hollywood Script Reader has been around for a long time for a reason. The book gives 500 useful tips on how to write a better screenplay that actually work. This is a fast and great read and a must-have in any screenwriters tool box.

The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script

The Screenwriter's Bible

The use of the word bible opens it up to suggest that it can be interpreted in many ways yet the content is clear and the format industry standard, ideal for the newbie writer to grasp with six books in one. This book should be learned and adhered to when format seems ambiguous after reading the latest sold script in Hollywood, as the rules can be flouted when you are established but not recommended. Once you have this book and even though you think you are clear you find yourself reverting back to it, which eventually causes the book to become a helpful and trusted friend.

Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach

The Sequence Approach

The Sequence Approach teaches simple methods and how to break up a script into 8 sections as opposed to the usual three acts. This helps you to focus and stay on track. The book explores how the methods work using the Fellowship of the ring and Toy Story the same methods taught at USC. This book is useful in helping a screenwriter to take control of their screenplay.

Breakfast with Sharks: A Screenwriter's Guide to Getting the Meeting, Nailing the Pitch, Signing the Deal, and Navigating the Murky Waters of Hollywood

Breakfast with Sharks

Breakfast with Sharks is the book that teaches those things that all the others don't cover. Preparing a screenwriter for the next stage and the inner workings of Hollywood. This takes you through meetings with producers that are interested in your script, the protocols, and the steps up to the next stage in the game. This book advisers on the sort of questions that should be asked and what should be brought to a meeting. Meetings should be pitched and other work sort that is in development are also covered along with many other tips. This book is about the business side of the screenwriting process and doesn't teach anything to do with the craft of screenwriting.

Screenwriter's Blogs

Great blogs to follow and see what other screenwriters are doing.
The bitter script reader
Screenwriter's blog
Sex in a submarine
Screenwriter's blog
Script paradigm
Screenwriter's blog

Screenwriters Script download.
A great source for screenwriters to get hold of scripts to read and learn.
The internet movie script batabase
Read Scripts.
Daily Script
Daily Script

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