Buy Used
$4.93
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous ownerâ€TMs name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Complete Book of Scriptwriting Paperback – July 1, 2002

33 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.98 $0.94
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Working writer/producer Straczynski has revised his 1981 text -- a standard in many institutions -- and brought it into the '90s, with updates on fluctuating markets, speculation about opportunities in CD-ROMs and anecdotage about Writers' Guild strikes that have occurred in the interval. A handy tome for the novice, since Straczynski covers much basic ground in key areas of writing for film, television, radio, animation and stage. Strongest in the movie/TV areas and also valuable for animation scribes, playwrights might note that their chapter is the thinnest; perhaps it was all apportioned according to what the various disciplines pay? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books; Revised edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582971587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582971582
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Michael Staczynski was born in Paterson, NJ in 1954, from a lower-middle-class blue-collar family that moved 21 times in his first 18 years. He began writing in earnest and selling at the age of 17 and hasn't stopped since. He graduated San Diego State University with degrees in Psychology and Sociology.

As a journalist, he has written over 500 published articles for such periodicals as The Los Anglees Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Penthouse, Writer's Digest, San Diego Magazine, the San Diego and Los Angeles Reader and TIME, Inc. He has also published numerous short stories in Amazing Science Fiction Magazine, Pulphouse, and various anthologies.

As a television writer and producer, he has written over 200 produced episodes, including workj on The New Twilight Zone, Nightmare Classics and Murder She Wrote. He also wrote, created and produced the series Babylon 5, Crusade and Jeremiah.

Moving from TV to film, he wrote Changeling (directed by Clint Eastwood), Ninja Assassin (produced by the Wachowskis), provided the story for Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh), wrote Underworld 4 (starring Kate Beckinsale), and has written numerous other films that are currently slated for production.

He has won the Hugo Award (twice), the Saturn Award, the Eisner Award, the Inkpot Lifetime Achievement Award, the E Pluribus Unum Award from the American Cinema Foundation, the Space Frontier Foundation award, the Ray Bradbury Award, the Christopher Award, and over a dozen others.

He was also nominated for a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his screenplay for Changeling.

He writes ten hours a day, every day, except for his birthday, New Year's Day and Christmas Day.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Postmodern Day Hero on July 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will spare You the same comments as the other reviews, as we are all in agreement that this book is incredible. There is a business that any writer must deal with, and JMS tells You how to go about it. Without this knowledge, You will *never* get hired. Also, JMS challenges the reader to not simply go around telling others, "I'm a writer." Rather, he wants You to have discipline and write whenever You have a moment's time to do so. There are a lot of talkers, and then there are those who succeed by hard work, discipline, an understanding of how the business works, and perseverance. I would highly endorse this book over other books that are simply made to take Your money, not unlike many of those scam writers' workshops who tell You the winning "formula" to a great work. JMS has paid his dues, written hundreds of scripts, and has worked as an Executive Producer for many successful shows. So please don't waste Your money on a fly by night writer who has never succeeded herself, but listen to the honesty and sincerity of a man who wrote this book under the premise that he wished he had had this book when he started. Best of luck to You all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Ferguson on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Complete Book of Scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski

Well, I think we all know of Michael Straczynski's accomplishments if not I will name one of his projects Babylon 5 and leave it at that. With that being said, The Complete Book of Scriptwriting is an excellent book for any scriptwriter. In The Complete Book of Scriptwriting Michael Straczynski touches on every genre of scriptwriting. From TV and movie writing all the way down to stage and radio. Now The Complete Book of Scriptwriting is not really a how to guide for writing. The Complete Book of Scriptwriting touches on these aspects such as a scripts length, margin settings, subtext and dialog. However, The Complete Book of Scriptwriting is more so a guide to the business of writing written by a writer who was also a TV producer. So Michael Straczynski provides you with a wealth of information from an artistic and business point of view, you cannot go wrong there. With great efforts he takes you through the step-by-step process of pitching a script. Need a way to land you an agent well, a few ideas are presented in this book. How about when to register with the WGA, it is all in there. Not only does Michael Straczynski take the time to go through each genre of scriptwriting he provides in rich detail the history of each medium of scriptwriting as well as the future of that medium. If you take your time with the history of the medium of scriptwriting that you are trying to write for you will have a better understanding of how that medium works and all the little quirks that you may overlook in your zeal to become the next great scriptwriter.

Again The Complete Book of Scriptwriting is not really a how to guide to writing it is a guide to understanding the business of scriptwriting.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Jeffords on August 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Scriptwriting is a great all purpose review of both the creative and business sides of writing for TV, movies, animation, radio drama, and the stage. Straczynski is the perfect authority to write on these subjects, having garnered success in all those fields.
The book is a how to manual, with plenty of examples to follow. It also traces out the business side of selling what you write. Straczynski writes in a personable style, but pulls no punches. He helps a potentional writer separate his dreams from reality without crushing one's ambition. This book has been used in colleges as a textbook and upon reading it, yu'll see why. It's a handy reference tool that I have thumbed back through scores of times over the last 3 years. I give it the highest praise. It should be the starting point for anyone serious about writing in the performing arts.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1996
Format: Hardcover
J. Michael Straczynski's The Complete Book of Scriptwriting
is a real breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how
it *really* works out there in Tinseltown. Straczynski
covers it all: Movies, Television, Animation, Stage and
Radio scriptwriting...and, just as important, *marketing*
your script!

The book is written in an easy, conversational style that's
very readable. (I finished the book in a weekend!) It's
obvious from the outset that this is a book that's going to
tell you the way things really are, instead of some kind of
snow job. If you really have the "burn," says Straczynski,
your options are almost endless...and here's how to explore
them realistically. I found the book extremely informative.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Salted with script excerpts and script layouts in equal measure, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SCRIPTWRITING is written with humour and a prose style which makes it almost as easy to read as fiction. It even includes the award-winning Babylon 5 script, "The Coming of Shadows" as an appendix. But is it an effective textbook?

The book covers the areas of film, screen, radio, animation and stage play scriptwriting in detail. It will show you how to develop a script in each genre from original idea through synopsis, then outline, to first draft, demonstrating at each stage who you'll be dealing with on the production side, and what you should expect to receive in payment. The pitfalls and the cynical traps some companies use are well signposted.

A significant failing, though, is that it does not cover as much of the art and technical aspects of scriptwriting as one might like - jms, as he's universally known on the Internet, seems to have the approach that the best teacher is practice. He devotes much more space to the layout of scripts (crucial to acceptance), their development and their marketing, with many anecdotes to illuminate, entertain and illustrate.

This is all very well, but layout and marketing details are local to the US. If you are intending to live in L.A. and write for the local market, this book is essential reading. If you live or work abroad, you may find the scriptwriting tips in the Complete Book a little incomplete for the cover price, although many Babylon 5 fans have bought it simply for the full episode script at the back.

None the less, this is a very well-written book (as one would expect from jms).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: fiction writing