Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: Ten Ways to Toughen Up Your Screenplay from Opening Hook to Knockout Punch Paperback – April 1, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! is the same powerful, easy-to-learn system that industry insiders have used to generate millions of dollars in script sales and ?assignments. In a clear, step-by-step fashion, this book is a fun, eye-opening, ?brain-expanding, and often irreverent guide to writing stories that sell. Covering everything from Heroes to Villains, from Theme to Plot Points, from cooking up good ideas to a business plan for smart writers, this book forever eliminates that horrible feeling every writer goes through — staring at the blank page and wondering “what comes next?”
About the Author
Jeffrey Alan Schechter was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, which explains his endearing personality. After moving to Los Angeles and not wanting to starve, he quickly established himself as a versatile writer, able to work in all genres from action films to family comedies, from pre-school to adult drama, from live action to animation. His writing has earned him nominations for two Emmy awards, a Writers Guild of America award, a Writer’s Guild of Canada award, and a BAFTA award. Over the years Jeff has worked with dozens of studios and networks including Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, ABC, NBC, The Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, The Hallmark Channel, the BBC, VH1 Films, RHI, and The Walt Disney Company.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But this book - while it follows a similar path - somehow is more direct in it's explanations. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't ever confused by the other works, but I found that when it came to put the theory into practice, there was a disconnect. Something that would look perfectly clear in the chosen example would somehow fail to translate to the project I was working on.
This book is different. Jeff is not after some form of hi-falootin theory masterpiece for reference in college workshops. He's just trying to explain the point. And he does. Directly. Take a look at the cover...that's direct. That's not the cover of a book aiming to be debated in cinema classes by people who may sound like they know their stuff, but are really just good at stringing words together.
Don't let the cover or the title scare you.
Quite frankly, I was a little afraid of spending the cash on it, because I was worried that it was some hackneyed self-pubbed mess of useless regurgitated drivel. It is not. Oh, it is most definitely not!
(And sincere apologies to Mr. Schechter on this, but the internet is fairly jammed with self-pubbed hack pieces nowadays).
Now, I fully concede that there is no new rocket-science in this tome...it's all out there in other esteemed works. BUT, the way he defines and discusses the elements of screenwriting is really easy to actually apply. I fully grasped the definitions offered by other works, but to me, the true mastery of teaching is whether the information can be readily applied to the project on your table. There's a certain satisfaction to scanning the breakdown of a film or novel and nodding along with clear understanding. That is not the hard part, and every book I've read in this field has been good enough to be clear about their examples in action. But close the book...can you actually USE the information? THAT is the test, and the necessary function of the books in this field.
Take 'Theme' that slippery little element that seems to be the ultimate in elusive nuance. It's one of those things that everyone can list examples of, but there really isn't too much meat on HOW you craft a decent one that is integral to the plot without ham-fisting the entire storyline to do it. Search no more.
This book has the simplest, most cohesive description that ALSO (almost) gives you numbered footprints for your project. The author does note that his simple take is for the first draft level, but it's also the glue that holds the protagonist and the antagonist in battle. Say what? YES. Theme does not have to be an afterthought. Or contrived. Or pulled out from under the bed in desperation and shoe-horned in. And when you get it into the first draft, then you can go an reference the craft books on theme to get all hi-falutin about it if your heart desires.
The truth of the usefulness of a work emerges when you sit down with YOUR project and can either easily apply the knowledge or not.
Now, I fully grant that the fault may be mine. Many have found other works sufficient, but for those who have not, I encourage you to try this one. And don't think that all I'm after is a colour-by-number approach. Thinking is fine, but so many times, the more you think about the actual project you have, the more the specifics of the definitions seem to be unravelling. Almost as if they are dissolving before your eyes and every second you seem to have less of a grip on the teaching that you had the moment before.
For those who have approached the teachings of the other masters and found them increasingly vague and mystic as you attempted to apply the knowledge, then try this one.
It's direct. The parts are defined. And not with a four-hundred word meandering description that makes you feel like a blindfolded child trying to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey in a room full of people who can actually SEE the damn donkey. Of course you know you're supposed to pin the tail on the donkey. You know why, and how (put the pin into the wall) and when (ASAP) and where (wherever the donkey drawing has been hung) and what (the tail). But that's all useless theory if you have no idea where you are or where the donkey is.
This is playing with the blindfold OFF: you hold the pin, you can SEE the donkey. Chances are high you'll be able to apply said tail to the appropriate posterior and succeed.
(For example: What IS the central question? How many parts does it have? Why? How should they work? When does it show up? Why there? How is it resolved? Why even have one? and so on...)
It does a great job breaking down typical models in literature, not only what's used in scripts, but what's general of all "myths" (which we humans like). If you're a serious writer just read, "The Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell," as I said, nothing here is new, it's presented in every-man terms in some punchy package. Not really my thing.
Top international reviews
This book is stunningly good! I cannot fault it in any way, and as a bonus Jeffrey provides links to worksheets that are helping me work his analysis of story structure into my own project.
A good book has to describe to readers how create true characters etc..!
I studied lots of books but this one is probably the best single book I ever read regarding screenplay writing.