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Some old-fashioned book-learnin' will do you some good.

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Old November 16th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #16
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If I were making a bible for screenwriters these would be the books in it.

Syd Field's Screenplay, Robert McKee's Story, Which Lie did I tell by William Goldman, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Aristotle's Peotics and 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader by Jennifer Lerch..

Read all these books and take lots of notes. When your done reading them, drive to your nearest lake or large body of water. Built a little wooden raft and put all the books (but one) on the raft. Then set the raft on fire, push the raft out into the water and sit on the shore enjoying the spectacle.

Why does your screenwriting library get a Viking's funeral? If you cling to these books too literally, these books will become barriers that will impede you from finding your own voice. You be constantly referrring to them and will end up not using your instincts but instead you'll be using Syd Fieids or Roger McKee's instincts. If followed to literally, your script will be formulaic piece of @#$%.

Only save 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader by Jennifer Lerch.
Cheesey title but it's the one I turn to the most. The book offers no answers, just a series of questions. When your done your rough draft, open up the book and use it a check list when you're rewriting.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
My advice to first time writers.

"Don't get it right... get it written."
Excellent advice.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 08:43 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies. Totally forgot about this thread.

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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:14 PM   #19
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I'm generally not a fan of screenwriting books because all of the one's I have read reitterate the techniques - and they can all be learnt by studying screenplays and paying attention to the movies you watch for pleasure. The only thing you really need to know is the technical specifications, and you can learn the margins with a simple Google search.

That being said, I recommend "How Not To Write A Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make." The thing with screenwriting is that you learn by screwing up. All writers make the same (or similair) mistakes starting out, you just have to recognize them as you make them and learn not to do it again. This book helps you recognize those mistakes and even helps you avoid some before they happen.

Also, the author was a professional script reader. The mistakes mentioned are things that turn off the readers, who are the people you want to impress. because the script readers are the ones who say to the higher ups, "You should read this."
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