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Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays (Writing & Selling Screenplays) Paperback – April 1, 2015
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About the Author
Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, a script editor, a script reader, a founding organizer of the London Screenwriters' Festival, and the author of Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays.
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I also enjoyed her use of case studies, anecdotes from the various authors, and breaking each one down to see what made them work. Now, this does not mean you can just copy what worked for them; you must find your own voice and do what comes naturally to you, keeping these things in mind. So, if you are buying this book because you think it is going to be a template and you can just read it, whittle off a smashing screenplay afterward, that is not going to happen, but it will help guide you along the way.
I highly recommend you purchase this book and use it as one of your many tools to becoming a better writer. If you follow Hay's tips, use your unique voice, find your passion, then stick with it, you can achieve success. Just like anything worthwhile, you have to be determined and willing to do the hard work, but the payoff (in terms of satisfaction of a job well done) is well worth it in the end.
Each section is accompanied by a detailed case study with plenty of insight and tips, referenced to other films as well. You can tell this book was well researched and written by someone knowledgeable in the industry. Hay states that with tenacity, passion, belief & research you can be successful. You just need balls and bags of self-belief.
Hay describes the different types of drama you can write but reiterates that you should be writing with passion - a burning desire to correct a misconception or a strong message you just have to share. Drama should be about conflict and movement, it's devastation, not depression. As in all books about writing, the advice is given to avoid genre tropes and cliches.
Towards the end of the book, there is a great resource that walks you through writing a spec drama screenplay and getting it out there, with details on where to find it online as well as a great directory of helpful sites, people & other resources. If you're willing to put in the effort, you will get there. Be daring, avoid cliches, tell the truth, adapt and remember, it's all on you.