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How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make Paperback – May 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Well thank god he did, because he distills horribly written screenplays into crystal clear examples of why they are poorly written. This information is wonderful, and I found myself delighting in his revealing why I too am unsatisfied with the screenplays I have written.
The book is broken into two primary sections with a third "final thought section." The first is devoted to form, and he cuts to the chase providing examples of "good writing" and, even more importantly, examples of "bad writing". He examples are very accessible, and will illustrate to any writer, producer, or director why it is that they want to cut their wrists when reading some screenplays, and can't put others down.
The second half of the book is devoted to content. This is not as strong as the first half, but is certainly on par or slightly better than most books on how to write your story. He even quotes from all of the guru's of screenwriting, and shows that they are all ultimately trying to say the same thing.
I am absolutely serious when I say it is the best book on screenwriting I have ever read. I think it should be manditory reading for anyone that ever thinks of giving their screenplay to another individual to read. Happy writing!!!
First, the cynical attitude is no doubt honestly acquired, but the book makes for a very bad read for someone who is still struggling with their screenplay. The best how-to books both explain and inspire, this does not.
Second, the liberal use of actual (or slightly altered) bad screenplays (sometimes multiple pages of unbroken screenplay examples) make for (often) difficult (if not confusing) reading of the (sometimes) useful prose. The book feels like 1/3 advice, 2/3 filler. Some of the examples are needed to display the problem being discussed, most are either a trivia contest (how quickly can you spot which movie the example is from?) or dreck which adds nothing to the explanation given.
I recommend that you read the book, or something like it, before you send your screenplay out into the world. There is good advice here for rewriting, format and polishing. However, I recommend that you read THIS book only after you've written your screenplay, unless you're looking for an excuse to quit.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book should be titled -- "How Not to Write a Screenplay: Read This Book"Published 1 month ago by roocrew
Halfway through and really impressed by how basic it is. What to put on the title page, what not to put on the title page, etc... Great for first timers. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Honey Morrison
If you want to know technique, this is the book for you. I found out about this book in a screenwriting workshop. Glad I got it!Published 10 months ago by Kristina KP Patrice
I noticed after reading this as I wrote my first story how the mind ignores everything you've learned from this book and make every single mistake mentioned anyway! Read morePublished 11 months ago by A.W.
Very easy read with helpful check points. The book came new. I'm delighted.Published 12 months ago by stonemax11
LOVE this book, it is just what I needed as a struggling writer. Love it in every aspectPublished 13 months ago by S. Granados
A must read for those who plan to write a screen ploay. The book explains what to avoid in order to write a decent screen play. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rick Gonsalves Kicker