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You will NOT write a movie in 21 days...
on January 28, 2000
...at least not one that's actually sellable, or that has enough depth and craftsmanship to survive in the real-world marketplace. To think otherwise is to be laughably naive. Having said that, I strongly recommend this book!
Why the discrepancy? Simple. I've been writing for years, off and on. I've read dozens of screenwriting books, and taken a few of the big screenwriting courses. I've started writing about 50 screenplays, and completed about 3 of them.
One of the troubles I had (sound familiar?), is that I would begin writing, get about 30 or 40 pages into it, and then stop. Either I went off-course, I began to hate my concept or characters, thought my writing was atrocious, or came up with "a better idea." The result? Dozens of half-completed screenplays.
A writer writes. And writing is re-writing. You'll never fully appreciate these clichés until you ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND WRITE! And don't stop!
The script I wrote when I actually APPLIED this book (about 2 years after I bought it) was written in about 48 days. Hmmph! But you know what? It was WRITTEN. It was complete. It was my first, fully-completed screenplay. And it was actually pretty darn good.
Truth be told, when you finish writing the script Viki King helps you get out on paper, it will likely be only a FIRST DRAFT. Chances are, there'll be a lot more work to do. Re-writing. Making it more organic. Adding depth and breadth to your characters. Expanding your subplots and building elements necessary to your story that Viki's book overlooks (things experience will teach you). But if you've never written a screenplay before (or never completed one you like), this book will talk you through it. And it will give you the basic tools needed to actually complete it. Because before you can re-write, hone, and perfect... you need to get it on paper in the first place!
Make no mistake about it. If you buy into the idea that you'll get this book and have a sellable screenplay a month later, you'll be disappointed. You're not a writer. You're a get-rich-quick wishful thinker. Writing screenplays is a tough business, let alone a difficult process. It just doesn't happen overnight.
The power and beauty of this book is its ability (if you actually FOLLOW it) to help you get through the battle that happens inside, when you sit down to write. It will get your script on paper. It will make you a writer. The quality of your writing gets better with experience. Applying the principles of this book will give you that experience.
Also: Others have accused this book of being "spiritual". It's not. It's motivational, it's inspirational, it's conversational. Just what a first-time or would-be writer needs to overcome his battle with himself.
Some people talk. Other people act. Those who act will get value out of this book.
As I write this review, the script I wrote (in, umm, 48 days) is currently in post-production. And the script I'm working on now is even better.
It's a process. And this is a wonderful first step. A wonderful tool to help you through the self-imposed barriers to succeeding at this craft.