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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martell knows his stuff
There is no formula, no blueprint, for high quality screenwriting. Too many people who offer themselves up as screenwriting "teachers" try to give people a blueprint or "how-to" system for writing a screenplay as if developing and writing a high quality screenplay is akin to putting together a set of shelves from Ikea. Martell isn't one of those screenwriting teachers...
Published on September 5, 2011 by RP

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you have a character already
This Bluebook is good. I had the paperback version as well and it's been expanded in the Kindle version. it covers how to make a character strong and to juice up your character see he/she isn't a bore and so you can get a Hollywood actor interested.

I wish it covered a bit more how to select a good character to start with. No point in strengthening a character...
Published on September 5, 2011 by bookreader


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martell knows his stuff, September 5, 2011
By 
RP (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
There is no formula, no blueprint, for high quality screenwriting. Too many people who offer themselves up as screenwriting "teachers" try to give people a blueprint or "how-to" system for writing a screenplay as if developing and writing a high quality screenplay is akin to putting together a set of shelves from Ikea. Martell isn't one of those screenwriting teachers. Martell isn't going to tell you to make sure to put your inciting incident on page 30 or to make sure your hero gives a stray dog some food in order to make him likeable. Martell breaks things down to their base level, trying to get the reader to understand the "why" behind it all rather than just telling you the "how to". Using multiple examples from existing movies and screenplays, Martell helps the reader to truly think about and understand what they're doing when creating characters (as in this specific book), allowing readers to honestly create their own, more realistic characters rather than just offering up a carbon copy (carbons are things that old people used to make copies. Ask me about my mimeograph machine some time if you're interested in ancient copying techniques) of what the reader has seen before (or what some so-called screenwriting expert told them to make).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One step beyond other screenwriting books, September 21, 2011
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
Bill's Blue Books were recommended to me by a producer back when they were only available as traditional, printed books. In the years since, others in the industry have mentioned them as essential reading. There is a simple reason why they are highly regarded in Hollywood. They're good.

I own both the print and ebook versions of Creating Strong Protagonists. The new ebook version is greatly expanded with about 100 more pages of new material and practical examples. The information is solid, detailed and down-to-earth practical.

This isn't a book for people who are trying to learn how to write their first screenplay. This is a more advanced book that will help you fine-tune your protagonist to make sure that the screenplay you write is a screenplay that will sell.

And speaking of screenplays that sell -- Bill Martell makes his living writing and selling screenplays, not teaching. He comes at things from a different perspective because he's a working screenwriter. Personally, I've found his perspective very useful. But don't take my word for it. Download the ebook sample to your Kindle or computer and decide for yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just one in a great series, September 5, 2011
This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
I was given William Martell's screenwriting Blue Books as a gift from a relative who knew I was interested in screenwriting, but didn't know my level of experience. I had already attended film school and taken countless screenwriting courses and read all the major books. The last thing I needed was another book on how to write compelling characters and active heroes.

Boy, was I wrong.

Simple, yet in-depth, Martell knows his stuff and is able to effectively communicate important facets for developing a unique and engaging main character.

Hmmm...Martell -- not a bad name for a strong protagonist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put Your Hero to the Test, November 23, 2013
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
Hands down, the best book I've ever read on creating a strong, likeable protagonist. Whether you're writing books, scripts, short stories or poetry, this book will guide you into greatness. Think you've developed a great hero? Compare it to what William Martell says in this book and you might be surprised at how much you missed. Truly, an excellent gem from anyone serious about creating strong, likeable protagonists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars easy to grasp and honest way and the best is ..., July 2, 2014
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
Martell says what many others have but in simple, direct, easy to grasp and honest way and the best is he talks from his own experience as writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice on creating protagonists!, February 11, 2014
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
Really helped me out on making me think what should go into a great lead character. This is my third Martell book. So far, I've found them all to be quite helpful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, January 15, 2014
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
Another winner in the Blue Book Series. Stellar info that more than delivers. Details how to craft an engaging, active, emotionally rich character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martell does it again..., August 9, 2013
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
Great to read a how-to book about scripting from a guy with 19 actual movies to his credit. All his Blue Books are packed with hands on professional screenwriter solid info. Since selling your script requires an actual movie star to read it (and love it)...then knowing how to create and write a strong main character is CRUCIAL. Thanks again, Bill...another winner!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, detailed, full of real film examples, June 6, 2013
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
This book is written in a voice that makes you want to keep reading, and is full of all sorts of ways to add depth to your protag. Mr. Martell should definitely hire a new editor, however; this one let quite a few minor mistakes through.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Stuff for your screenwriting, June 5, 2013
By 
Robert A. Byrne (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creating Strong Protagonists (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
There are plenty of books out there on screenplay structure and "start to finish" instructions. Lots of them quite helpful. William Martell's Blue Books aren't about all of that. Each focuses on a singular element of your screenplay and then provides LOTS of useful information, examples and insights. His 'Visual Storytelling' (amazon review up) is a treasure trove on learning how to "show, not tell."

Here, he gives concrete examples from a wide range of films, old and new, to show what to do (and not do) to write a strong central character for your film. It doesn't talk about the midpoint or break into three or whatever: other books can teach you about that. But if you don't feel that your film's Hero is carrying enough weight, this book will help you figure out why and what to do about it.

At $2,99, the value is tremendous. I gave this four stars (instead of five) because there are a lot of typos. And I would certainly rather live with them than pay an extra couple dollars if he hired someone to clean it up. I understand these were originally self-made books printed at Kinkos and Martell is doing a service to readers by making them available cheaply in e-format. But if you turned in a screenplay with this many typos, you'd never make a sale.

I don't think you are going to get a better return on investment for your screenwriting career than a Martell Blue Book. This one is certainly worthy and a book you'll reference more than once.
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