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Wanna Read My Screenplay?

I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday to buy Jenga (because I’m such a huge fan of games marketed to six year old children), and in a classic case of getting distracted I bought a book. That book was Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundation of Screenwriting, and in a beautiful display of not studying for my history test I immediately began to read it. Field is considered an authority on screenwriting, and his students include Anna Hamilton Phelan (Mask), Randi Mayem Singer (Mrs. Doubtfire), and Kevin Williamson (Scream, Scream 2, and Scream 3).

In his book, Field makes it shockingly easy to understand how screenplays work. It isn’t cluttered with jargon or vague notions. Instead, it breaks screenwriting into its time-proven form: Beginning, Middle, and End (not necessarily in that order) with the addition of two plot points that work as transitions.

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Soldierone3715d ago

I am a Screenplay emphasis with my film major, so that was a rather interesting read!

If you haven't already, and are looking for more books, "Story" by Robert McKee is a really good read. In fact its a required book in a LOT of screenwriting classes.

Also I picked up story writing books for both video games and Comic books, and while the structure is a bit different, it really helps develop you as a writer also.

Firstkn1ghT3715d ago

What are good story writing books for comic books?

Soldierone3715d ago

My favorite so far was DC How to Write comics. It was easy to read and had a lot of great ideas and useful tips in it.

Marvel has another one I read, I think it was "How to write comic the marvel way" or something of that nature. It was pretty good, but it was more so inspiration than anything to me.

Stan Lee also has some, and he is a very good teacher based on other things from him I have. Alan Moor wrote one that is getting good reviews, but I personally never read it yet. I actually might go pick those up soon.

If you are going to pick up just one, I highly suggest the DC one. Even if you are not a fan of DC comics, it was a really good read.

JL3715d ago

Agreed. Even not being a screenwriter, I found it to be an interesting read. Definitely interesting for anybody interested in movies and the structure, etc.

RufustheKing3715d ago

Are there screenplay books for different genres Sci-fi/Drama and so on? or does one suit all?

JL3715d ago

I'm not a screenwriter, so possibly someone like Soldier can give you a better answer, but...

As a movie buff and someone who appreciates the medium (and I've seen and studied my fair share of movies and then some), essentially yes, screenwriting is screenwriting. The basic craft is universal. Granted different genres will have different elements, but at the core it's all the same. Storytelling is storytelling.

With that in mind, due to different genres having different elements, I'm sure there are in fact genre-specific books out there. However, I'm sure those are more secondary type books. Meaning, you really need to know the basics of screenwriting and have that down. Then, the genre-specific ones just compound upon that.

Soldierone3714d ago

Yeah JL nailed it on the head. Screenwriting is screenwriting. However there are some genre specific ones also. Is more so to keep your interest. For example, horror scipts for examples instead of classics. I know there are a couple, probably not the same quality, that are like that (geared towards a genre) and in return will also inspire you with ideas in that genre. However I don't know of any that are as good as these ones in general.

Another separation is they have ones geared towards Television and so on. Basically the same thing though.

RufustheKing3714d ago

Thank you for that. off to create the next Let the right one in or next star wars :)