For Students of Screenwriting

A Listmania! list by John N. Thornburg "Professor English / Creative Writing" (San Jacinto College, Pasadena / Houston, Texas)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "Although with its narrative descriptions of what the camera sees, screenwriting is closer to novel writing than playwriting, the aspiring screenwriter might do worse than practice writing a play or two for the stage before writing for the screen in order to hone the techniques of effective dialogue and the motivated entrance and exit--two problems that plague screenwriters within scenes as well as stage-play writers. Writing a screenplay can help novelists and stage-play writers improve their craft as well. Of course, reading good screenplays as well as seeing good films is essential. The Newmarket Shooting Script Series, for example, presents such scripts well."
Writing Short Films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters
1.  Writing Short Films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters by Linda J. Cowgill
The list author says:
  "This is a college textbook frequently used in introductory courses. It covers short films but clearly explains principles the pertain to both long and short screenplays."
$14.67   Used & New from: $6.49
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Secrets of Screenplay Structure
2.  Secrets of Screenplay Structure by Linda J. Cowgill
The list author says:
  "Concise dramatic structure for screenplays."
Used & New from: $4.00
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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The Art of Plotting: Add Emotion, Suspense, and Depth to your Screenplay
3.  The Art of Plotting: Add Emotion, Suspense, and Depth to your Screenplay by Linda J. Cowgill
The list author says:
  "As the subtitle says, how to "Add Emotion, Suspense, and Depth" (and leave out the boring bits of life)."
$15.88   Used & New from: $4.40
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
4.  Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field
The list author says:
  "Some swear by it; other swear at it.  Good to know."
$9.04   Used & New from: $4.71
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters
5.  The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters by Christopher E. Vogler
The list author says:
  "Take Aristotle’s Poetics.  Add some depth psychology (soul-study) from Carl Jung.  Combine with some mythic theory from Joseph Campbell.  Meditate.  Creates an insightful method for the analysis of story-myth.  Best served hot.  Also good chilled.  Makes a hearty serving that should please all writers and their muses."
Used & New from: $1.43
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Myth & the Movies: Discovering the Myth Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films
6.  Myth & the Movies: Discovering the Myth Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films by Stuart Voytilla
The list author says:
  "Applies myth analysis theory to good films."
$16.14   Used & New from: $4.09
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact And Fiction Into Film (Owl Books)
7.  The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact And Fiction Into Film (Owl Books) by Linda Seger
The list author says:
  "Since there is more than one path up the mountain of creativity, we can learn what is best for us from reading texts that map out different approaches.  With Linda Seger,
we are shown different approaches well by the same author.  Hence, I am going to recommend several of her books."
$14.48   Used & New from: $0.39
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Making a Good Script Great
8.  Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger
The list author says:
  "An excellent text on creating screenplays and script improvement."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

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Making a Good Writer Great: A Creativity Workbook for Screenwriters
9.  Making a Good Writer Great: A Creativity Workbook for Screenwriters by Linda Seger
The list author says:
  "Good prompts for invention, arrangement, and revision."
$12.46   Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Advanced Screenwriting: Taking Your Writing to the Academy Award Level
10.  Advanced Screenwriting: Taking Your Writing to the Academy Award Level by Linda Seger
The list author says:
  "Screenplay structure and variation."
$13.46   Used & New from: $0.95
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

And the Best Screenplay Goes to...Learning from the Winners - Sideways, Shakespeare in Love, Crash
11.  And the Best Screenplay Goes to...Learning from the Winners - Sideways, Shakespeare in Love, Crash by Linda Seger
The list author says:
  "Specific analysis and examples."
$18.15   Used & New from: $1.90
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
12.  The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby
The list author says:
  "If you are wondering how to put it all together or how to develop your story organically, here is one of the most advanced and sophisticated methods.  There is also a hardback and software.  I recommend either in paper or hardcover.  Please ignore Truby's digs in the Introduction against Aristotle.  Truby is, in fact, analytical and Aristotelian, which is one of the reasons he is worth reading."
$10.75   Used & New from: $5.95
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
13.  Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
The list author says:
  "Like Christopher Keane and Linda Seger, Robert McKee is a fine teacher.  His approach synthesizes conflict and mythic theory. Like John Truby's book, this ample textbook is a highly advanced and yet practical how-to-write-a-story analysis."
$25.27   Used & New from: $14.98
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (412 customer reviews) | 4 customer discussions

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Is McKee's take on the writing process credible? 1 Apr 18, 2013
How has this book helped your storytelling skills? 0 Jun 24, 2012
Books That List of Proverbs/Morals/Themes/ for Storytellers? 1 Aug 2, 2011
Digital version? 1 May 17, 2011
Mythic Structure for Writers vs. Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters 1 May 8, 2010
Is the revised edition now out of print? 0 Feb 5, 2009
 
   

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John N. Thornburg "Professor English / Creative Writing" (San Jacinto College, Pasadena / Houston, Texas)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Professor of English / Creative Writing
Last updated: 2/20/15
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