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121 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
Well I was browsing around on Amazon, and I found all these negative reviews of this book -- I am SHOCKED and a bit suspicious of them. There are few things I'm passionate enough about to jump up and defend, but this book is one of them.
Seger's book was the ONLY screenwriting book I read before writing "American Pie." Regardless of what you may think of...
Published on February 17, 2000 by Adam Herz

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some useful stuff
As an actor and playwright, I found much of what Linda Seger wrote to be useful. It's actually the sort of thing I wish that I had available when I started. I can only give it three stars as it does not quite adequately enough address the needs of the experienced script writer. It's, nonetheless, good, and I don't quite understand the suspicious negative postings on...
Published on March 24, 2000 by ___


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121 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable, February 17, 2000
Well I was browsing around on Amazon, and I found all these negative reviews of this book -- I am SHOCKED and a bit suspicious of them. There are few things I'm passionate enough about to jump up and defend, but this book is one of them.
Seger's book was the ONLY screenwriting book I read before writing "American Pie." Regardless of what you may think of that film, the fact is that this book taught me the things that made the screenplay SELL. Even in a teen comedy, you've got to have proper structure and character development.
Seger's book is basic, yes -- _screenwriting_ is basic. Beginning, middle, end. Be original. Have a character or two arc. Have a relatable theme. Done. The fact that most writers get lost in less important details is maybe why some people expected this book to have more. It has everything you need.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AS ESSENTIAL AS A DICTIONARY, March 22, 2000
By 
As a script consultant, screenwriter and film critic, I cannot recommend this book too highly. It presents craft principles clearly and succinctly with good examples, and enables the reader to approach their own writing much more confidently.
The book is especially helpful at two stages in the writing process: the first is at the beginning when you're faced with a mass of story material, ideas, character elements, themes, bits of dialogue ... and you're trying to see the wood for the trees. The book helps you sort them out and develop a structure for the story, as well as defining the function each of these bits of material might perform in the script.
The second point at which you can turn to the book for help is after you've written a draft and you need to sit back and look at what you've done with a cold, objective, analytical eye. As you read the book, you find yourself applying the concepts and principles to your own work, and the weaknesses (and of course the successful bits!) are easily apparent. It works as a memory jogger, a kind of touchstone to bring you back to first principles, which often get obscured as you concentrate on the specifics of getting the stuff down in writing.
I've read many books on scriptwriting and have gleaned something useful from each one, but Making a Good Script Great is the one I recommend to writers, especially those starting out, and it's the one I personally always go back to as my basic, easy-to-get-around reference text. In fact, writing this review has just reminded me that my own copy is currently on loan to a friend and I'd better get it back!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Screenwriting 301, December 19, 2001
By 
mark gaddis (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
If you are a serious screenwriter that hasn't read the book, get it. If you are an aspiring wannabe you start with one of Syd Field's books on screenwriting. He will give you the important basics on structure, elements of a screenplay and plot points. However, when you have finished your script and you want to make sure you have finished the best revision you are capable of; read Linda Seger's book: Making a good script Great.
This book is exactly what the title implies. Linda's book will take your basic idea and mold it into the best script you can write. This is advanced screenwriting lessons.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best, September 21, 2001
This is an extraordinary book, loaded with useful info. While I respect that it reflects Linda Seger's attitude that you make a good story great by revision, this could also be written as a fantastic book on the art and elements of story creation. Of the books I've read so far, only McKee and Field are as comprehensive in their approach (though I also like the more focused approaches of others.)
Linda's book offers such a wealth of information, it's hard to imagine getting serious about the craft of STORY creation without reading it.
I am in the process of organizing a conference, StoryCon, on the Art, Science and Application of Story, and so, have been researching dozens of books on story creation, screen writing, crating fiction, the novel, etc. I've acquired over 50 books, so far, for the purpose of identifying potential speakers for the meeting and this book is one of the best. (You see the link to the website in my about me area at amazon.) One thing I've found, in my research, which has included speaking with many of the authors of these books, is that Linda is probably the most well connected of them all, ie., she knows and or has worked with them.
When I had dinner with her this summer, I was mesmerized by the knowledge and wisdom on story which she shares so easily. It's like that in the book too. I've gone ahead and bought most of her other books too, and look forward to digesting them.
Since I read the books I am nost avid to finish while working out on the treadmill, I give this book a five gallon rating-- for having been sweated over like the best.
Other authors/ books on story worth reading include:
Anything by Syd Field
Robert McKee's Story
Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey
Carol Bly's two books on writing: Writing the Passionate Accurate Story and Beyond the Writer's Workshop
James Bonnet's Stealing Fire From The Gods
Janet Burroway's book on writing
Jame's Frey's books on writing
Sol Stein's books on writing
Michael Hauge's Writing Screenplays that Sell
Robert Burdette Sweet's Writing Towards Wisdom; The Writer As Shaman
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beginner's Guide To Screenwriting, July 22, 2000
For someone who is new in the world of screenwriting, this book is an excellent introduction to the structure and tricks screenwriters use to make a good script great. Linda Seger lays out each step clearly and in a fashion easily comprehendible, including excerpts from films that excel at each step. I would recommend, though, watching some of the films mentioned prior to reading the book. Unforgiven, Out Of Africa, Back To The Future, Witness, and Tootsie are a few. Out of all the screenwriting books, Linda Seger's `Making A Good Script Great' has to be one of the easiest to read, and the best for beginners.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Structure, Structure, Structure, December 10, 2001
By A Customer
If you're looking for a beginning guide, this probably isn't the book for you (tho' probably put it at #2 or 3 on your list), as it has no information about formatting, etc.
However, if you're stuck on a re-write, or feel that the screenplay you're currently working on is getting bogged down with too much detail/exposition and too many tangents in the subplotting, this book might just help.
The focus here is on structure. Seger discusses pretty much every element involved in creating the structure of a screenplay. She starts with the macrocosm, discussing the three-act structure itself, then delves into smaller issues related to creating that three-act structure: subplots, character development, unification elements, etc., etc.
Throughout, the writing is clear and informative. And don't let the title deceive you. I'm using information from this book to restructure my current project before it hits the page--to pleasing effect.
If books that focus too much on formulas, or give big do/don't lists, or tell you that you need something big to happen on page 10 (without telling you how to get there) annoy you, this may be the perfect book for you. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Serious Screenwriter Should Be Without This Book, April 12, 2000
As a professional screenwriter and university screenwriting teacher, I have found this book invaluable as have many of my colleagues. There's always a moment in every script, when inspiration falters. I read a few pages of Linda's book and ideas begin to break through the barrier of my unconscious. I reccommend this and every one of her books.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must after your 1st draft, May 1, 2001
By 
Gregory Lukianoff (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Linda Seeger's book is the perfect read right after you finished your rough draft and can't see what's wrong with it. Of course reading this book will show you why writers re-write everything SO much. If you finish this book and still think your script is done after the 1st draft, my guess is you should re-read it.
The book stays interesting, has enough fresh information and good concepts and it demands a great deal of your writing. It was far more helpful and more insightful than any of the other screenwriting books I have read so far.
Greg
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EASY BOOK TO RECOMMEND!, August 7, 2005
Having taught many classes on feature film development, there are very few books I recommend. Dr. Seger's book "Making a Good Script Great" rates up there with "The Art of Dramatic Writing" and Aristotle's "Poetics" as a book all screenwriters should read. What makes her tome stand out, is that it's not about the first draft, but rather about the rewrite process, a journey most writers shy away from...but with her sure fire map, this book just may make it easier for them. This book compliments the many books already written on screenwriting and would be a welcome addition to any filmmaker'slibrary. I recommend it as one of the 10 books a filmmaker should have on their bookshelf.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Guarantees In Life, March 17, 2000
By A Customer
Screenwriting, like any creative process, is a matter of opinion & taste. I have probably read aboug 3/4 of the books on screenwriting as I consider it part of my job (story analysis/development specialist). MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT may not be for the absolute beginner, but it does point a writer in the right direction with solid information & examples on plot, structure & characterization. In scrolling through the reviews on this book, writers need to realize that no book, not even MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT, can guarantee an agent, a sale or a career. It is a reference book, not a magic wand. But after assessing more than 16,000 motion picture & television projects & conducting workshops for the past 15 years, MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT is still one of the top 5 books I can recommend to my students & clients. Also high on my recommended list are books written by Hauge, Field & DiMaggio.
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Making a Good Script Great, 3rd Ed.
Making a Good Script Great, 3rd Ed. by Linda Seger (Paperback - February 15, 2010)
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