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Screenwriting Tricks For Authors (and Screenwriters!) Kindle Edition

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Length: 263 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sokoloff's advice is spot-on, and her teaching style is direct and effective. A must-have book for authors and screenwriters."
--- JA Konrath, bestselling author of  A Newbie's Guide To Publishing

"Sokoloff is a generous mentor with the gifted ability to address a storyteller's practical concerns while encouraging artistic integrity and every author's unique voice.  Only three of my half dozen novels have been written with her unwitting guidance, but I can guarantee that with this book at my fingertips, all my future work- and my reading audience - will benefit from her advice. Recommended without reservation. "  
--- Vicki Pettersson, bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac series


"I loved this book! Alexandra Sokoloff breaks down the screenwriting process in easy-to-understand steps with examples from current movies and the BEST practical examples. Her unique and always lots of fun lessons are empowering for first-time writers as well as those with finished screenplays looking to take their project to the next level. Indispensable."
--- George LaVoo, co-writer Real Women Have Curves, writer/director A Dog Year

From the Inside Flap

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

PART ONE: STORY STRUCTURE

1. The Master List
2. What's Your Premise?
3. What is "High Concept"?
4. The Three-Act, Eight-Sequence Structure
5. The Index Card Method and Story Elements Checklist
6. Elements of Act I
7. Hero/ine, Protagonist, Main Character
8. Protagonist Case Study: Jake Gittes
9. What Makes a Great Villain?
10. Villains, Part 2: The Forces of Antagonism
11. Elements of Act Two
12. Elements of Act Two, Part 2
13. Elements of Act Three
14. What Makes a Great Climax?
15. Visual Storytelling
16. Creating Suspense
17. Plants and Payoffs
18. The Big Twist
19. Character Introductions
20. Fairy Tale Structure
21. Meta Structure
22. Your First Draft is Always Going to Suck
23. Top Ten Things I Know About Editing
24. Life is a Pitch Meeting

PART TWO: STORY BREAKDOWNS

25. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
26. Romancing the Stone
27. Chinatown
28. The Mist
29. Act Climaxes and Turning Points

PART THREE: THE BUSINESS


30. How Do I Get a Literary Agent?
31. Internet Resources for Writers
32. So You Want to Know About Screenwriting
33. Recommended Reading

Figure 1: Story Grid

Product Details

  • File Size: 392 KB
  • Print Length: 263 pages
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0032JSJ9U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,928 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the Thriller Award-nominated, Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON). The New York Times Book Review called her a "daughter of Mary Shelley," and her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre."

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with Heather Graham's all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook. But not an addict. Seriously, it's under control.

Learn more at http://alexandrasokoloff.com

Follow:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alexsokoloff
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexandra.sokoloff
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/552457.Alexandra_Sokoloff

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By H. L. ARLEDGE on November 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think it was Blake Snyder in his book, Save the Cat, that said writers will do anything to keep from working--from writing--the single activity they love most in the world. He was right, of course, and one of the things writers do to procrastinate is buy books on writing. This is the perfect outlet, as the primary reason we don't want to write is because the editor in our heads keeps telling us we're just not good enough.

Me, yes, I'm a writer, and as such, I am a procrastinator and collector of fine books on writing. Honestly, there is no book on the subject, in print or out, that I do not own.

And just as Blake Snyder said his book was the last book on screen writing anyone would ever need, Sokoloff's Screen-writing Tricks for Authors is the last book on novel writing you'll ever need. She has condensed the best of the best--at least the most relevant to today's audience--into a no-word-wasted just-the-facts-maam book that no serious writer should be without.

If you buy another book on writing without reading this one first, you'll be wasting money.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Vicki Pettersson on June 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I've been following Alexandra Sokoloff's advice for years now, hunting down informative gems in blog entries and online posts every time a structural problem arose in one of my WIPs. To say I'm thrilled that she finally compiled (and augmented) that advice in one place is an understatement. Sokoloff is a generous mentor with the gifted ability to address a storyteller's practical concerns while encouraging artistic integrity and every author's unique voice. Only three of my half dozen novels have been written with her unwitting guidance, but I can guarantee that with this book at my fingertips, all my future work - and my reading audience - will benefit from her advice.

As a side note, I generally don't like books with exercises. Everything I write is for use, not play, yet I felt no resistance in performing Sokoloff's suggested exercises because they're relevant and applicable to the story structure of everything I write - shorts, novellas, and full-length fiction. There are no shortcuts to craft, but this book can help authors avoid the structural pitfalls that might otherwise keep a story from being finished, or from selling. Recommended without reservation.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Shaber on January 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Sokoloff's book is a valuable addition to any writer's library, whether published or unpublished. Ms. Sokoloff draws upon her years of experience as a successful screenwriter to explain how to structure a novel. Complete with useful exercises. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elise on October 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never heard of Alexandra Sokoloff, but I'm just starting Chapter 6 (11% into the book on Kindle) and she has already completely altered my view on how to write a novel. I have at least 5 books that I've started, yet haven't gotten past page 30 before getting stuck and giving up. I've read tons of articles on outlining, but Chapter 5: The Index Card Method has completely altered my view on how it needs to be done and the benefit it will have when writing and completing a novel. I cannot believe this book on the Kindle is only $2.99. If you're a complete amateur like me but know you have a story inside of you the world needs to read, buy this book. I promise you won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kay Hudson on July 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sokoloff covers Story Structure (three acts, eight sequences), Story Breakdowns, and The Business. Her workbook approach is based on developing your own Writer's Notebook, with lists of favorite movies/openings/endings, etc., and why they work for you. I'm not very good at that sort of thing, not patient enough, perhaps, but her suggestions are sound.

As the title suggests, much of the book is based on the analysis of various movies, used to illustrate all aspects of story structure. Most of the examples I have seen, and her descriptions are make even unfamiliar films useful. One of her favorite examples is Chinatown, which I haven't seen in a very long time--I was inspired to track down a copy at Half-Price Books. She includes a sort of viewer's guide for the movies she analyzes in detail, giving the timing for important points.

When I looked up the book for this review, I discovered that Sokoloff has issued a second collection: Writing Love, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors II, with the emphasis on romance. I write romance, soI downloaded it immediately. I suspect it covers much the same territory with different examples, but for $2.99, how far wrong can you go?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laurie London on July 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I read Ms. Sokoloff's blog when I have time, which isn't as often as I'd like. When a fellow writer told me this ebook was a compilation of information from her blog, I raced to buy it and I wasn't disappointed. Although I haven't compared her various blog posts to what's in the book, the material here seems to be more extensive...but then, it could be that my brain has an easier time digesting it in this format. Her way of explaining story structure is easy to understand and, more importantly, adopt into your own writing style. To illustrate a particular point, she uses examples from well-known books/movies, but she doesn't go overboard here. I've read writing books and taken writing classes where this is all they do. She goes way beyond just giving examples, explaining the whys and hows behind the structure. I read this cover to cover in 2 sittings and had a few lightbulb moments about the book I'm writing now. I plan to go back and do some of the exercises next. Whether you're an aspiring author or a published author, you'll learn so much about story structure and what makes a story work if you read this book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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