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Coffee Break Screenwriter: Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time by [Alessandra, Pilar]
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Coffee Break Screenwriter: Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Length: 200 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pilar Alessandra is the director of the writing program On the Page(r), host of the popular On the Page Podcast, and author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter. Pilar started her career as Senior Story Ana-lyst at DreamWorks SKG and, in 2001, opened the On the Page Writers Studio in Los Angeles. Her students and clients have written for The Walking Dead, Lost, House of Lies, Nip/Tuck, and Family Guy. They ve sold features and pitches to Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Disney, and Sony, and have won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Screenwriting Competition, and Warner Bros. TV Writ-ing Workshop. Pilar has trained writers at ABC/Disney and CBS and traveled the world, teaching in London, Beijing, Warsaw, Lisbon, and South Africa. www.OnThePage.tv

Product Details

  • File Size: 2703 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (April 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00564VY8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,250 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jim TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those who may have never heard of it, once upon a time (published in 1986), there was a bestselling book on writing titled Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. Among the reasons many people who read the book loved it was because Goldberg's enthusiasm was infectious and her encouragement had oomph and felt real rather than contrived. And her tips for getting started writing, again and again, day after day, were practical. "The basic unit of writing practice," writes Goldberg, "is the timed exercise. You may time yourself for ten minutes, twenty minutes, or an hour. It's up to you."

The Coffee Break Screenwriter is Writing Down the Bones for screenwriters plus more, the more or meat on the bones being all of the practical information about the art and business of screenwriting that MS Alessandra includes in her book. Not sure if you should spring for The Coffee Break Screenwriter? Go to Alessandra's website called On the Page Script Consulting & Screenwriting Classes (you'll find a link to it fast by running a search on pilar Alessandra) and listen to one of the many free podcasts on offer. That should convince you.

I've read several books on screenwriting, by Syd Field, Robert McKee, Blake Snyder, David Trottier, and others, and none of them has sparked, inspired, and informed me as much as The Coffee Break Screenwriter (though I can't deny that reading them may have helped prepare me for it).
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Format: Paperback
Let's face it - most of us who are toiling away at our laptops writing the next great screenplay aren't paid writers...yet. So writing is as much a matter of finding time around our day jobs, families and picking up the dry cleaning as it is about great ideas. Well, in this book, Pilar gives you both - how to work out your great idea...in ten-minute exercises. Most of us dream of having that 'whole day' to sit down and write, but admit it - it's not going to happen! But you do have ten minutes somewhere in your day, right? Pilar takes you from your initial premise, through expanding your idea, to structuring your story beats, to characters & dialogue and finally, writing the first draft. All in manageable bite-sized chunks. So get this book - and get to it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read all the other screenwriting books (Field, Haug, Vogler, Truby, McKee, etc.) - I will say this. All that other stuff is relevant and needs to percolate in your head, but Pilar's book is a real workbook.

Let's put it this way: when she says from concept to page, she's not kidding. You fill out these worksheets and you get to brainstorm, outline, beat out, and break down the story of your screenplay. And only then do you actually get to write the first draft. The fact that chapter 5 is titled "The First Draft" gives you an idea the amount of work you are putting in with chapters 1-4! Other reviews break down the chapter titles, so you know that you will get help in rewriting your first draft.

What a great book. You still have to sit there and figure stuff out, but, instead of just sitting around asking yourself "how do I get from point A to point B?", Pilar will help get you there by asking you the right questions.

Kind of like Socratic learning, right? You can't figure out the correct answer if you don't know the correct question. Pilar's book asks the correct questions. Now, get writing!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read Syd Field, Robert McKee, and Blake Snyder to learn theory. Read this book to learn how to write a screenplay.
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By Ty on August 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love this book and Pilar's work. If you buy the book from her website for $24.99 plus $4 shipping, you get the book signed by her and it comes with the cd that has the worksheet templates that are scattered throughout the book. If I would have discovered her before I would have just bought the book from her the first time, as it stands now, I own this book in physical form and also on my Kindle without the templates cd.

These templates are great tools for helping a screenwriter get through her method of working through the screenwriting process. Her tools make sense and are basic and really do help you step by step with getting to the end, one break at a time.

Pilar has contacted me and made arrangements for me to get the templates and has followed through with her word so that I didn't have to purchase a third copy.
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Format: Paperback
Pilar is known for her weekly and very entertaining screenwriting podcasts. They're always funny and helpful. Unfortunately I won't be able to meet Pilar in person at one of her classes, since I'm from Germany. [If you ever plan to teach a class in Germany, Pilar, or need help with one, let me know (one can reply to these reviews).]

About the book:

It's excellent, because it asks many, many questions. And questions are a very powerful tool. The greatest coaches keep asking good questions. Most sceenwriting books don't ask enough questions, though. Pilar's book does. Usually 3-5 for each writing session, conveniently paired with a one-page screenwriting lecture.

I started working with the book today. I wrote 5 pages with paper and (fountain) pen (Tarantino stile) at a coffee shop. This handwriting method - I get away from feeling like sitting in front of my notebook 24/7 - paired with Pilar's book finally helped me to get started on my screenplay. At least the first one or two drafts will be handwritten. Just the book, some paper and a pen (and of course the coffee). That's liberating!

I read many screenwriting books and I also took classes. This book is the best of its kind. While writing my screenplay I also learn a lot. The book is almost as good as an excellent class, "almost" just because a book can't give notes on my writing ;-) But I took care of that and just founded an online writing group.

The "let's get started idea" works for me. Most books fail at that. Since Pilar has a great personality, a couple of pages in the beginning, which address the reader in a personal and encouraging way would be the cherry on top.
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