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Making a Good Script Great Paperback – August 1, 1994

108 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel French; 2 Sub edition (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0573699216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0573699214
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Linda Seger has a background in both drama and theology. She has focused her career as an international script consultant, seminar leader in the area of screenwriting, and author of books on screenwriting. In the last eight years, she has also been writing books on spirituality. Her two newest, in their second editions, are Jesus Rode a Donkey: Why Millions of Christians Are Democrats, which is a kind and non-polarizing look at how spirituality and politics intersect, and the highly acclaimed, Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success: Gaining the Goal Without Losing Your Soul. Wm. Paul Young (author of The Shack) says: As an elder in the art of life, Linda Seger brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to help us understand true success and how to navigate its adventures. She is the author of 12 books, 9 on screenwriting and 3 on spirituality. Her web site is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Adam Herz on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Helene Wong on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kall VINE VOICE on September 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
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.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By mark gaddis on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
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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