SCREENWRITING BOOKS - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

 

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Craig Mazin has a gritty post about screenwriting books and the non-screenwriters that write them. I agree with the sentiment. One reason I wrote Crafty Screenwriting was that most screenwriting books seem to have been written in a neverland where the goal is a well-written script. Or something. Having worked for 10 years as a development executive, I noticed they missed important things like the need to have a hook. While anything that gets your juices flowing is worth something, I don't know why people are reading books by people who've never made a living from scripts. I would happily read a book about screenwriting from a producer, another development exec, an agent, an actor or a director, if there were one, before I'd read one by a professional screenwriting teacher. And I've heard the same horror stories about certain screenwriting book writers and the scripts they've perpetrated.

I also agree with Craig's sentiment that you should read and write many screenplays, too, rather than just reading many screenwriting books. The only screenwriting book I think I ever got much out of was my own, by the process of writing it, and crystallizing what I thought I knew.

But then, I'd already read a thousand scripts and had spent years trying to set movie projects up, while writing on the side, professionally. When you're already in the door, it's hard to remember how difficult it can be to find where the door is.

The right kind of screenwriting books are useful. (Craig wasn't saying they aren't, but I feel inclined to assert it, since I've perpetrated my own screenwriting book!) People don't always know where to start. A good screenwriting book can walk people through the process. A good screenwriting book talks about what a good screenplay is, and about writing groups, and where to find scripts to read. In my upcoming book, Crafty TV Writing, I'll talk about how to watch TV analytically, and how to get feedback on your specs, and what the writer's room is like, and who do you send your specs to, and how is TV writing different from movie writing. I tried to write Crafty Screenwriting to be the book I wish I'd read when I started writing screenplays lo these many years ago, and ditto Crafty TV Writing.

Anyway, if I didn't think there was a point to it, why would I have a blog about screenwriting?

4 Comments:

I think that any screenwriting book, blog or website that seeks to fulfill a need within the industry is reason enough for its existence and support. It's the reason I started my site, and the reason I came up with my top ten rules for low budget/D2DVD screenwriting - so many people were just getting it wrong.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about concept/hook. Soooo much stuff I see just lies there and withers on the page. If people were to start with a fresh hook in their writing they would be halfway there to a sale. A good hook is also a great tool to refer back to when rewriting - a "What was I thinking /does this scene belong here?" measuring stick for the whole script. I look at my own stuff and go, "How did I get so off track? Oh yeah, I'm not reinforcing the hook that I started with!"

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 4:12 PM  

I don't read screenwriting books anymore because there comes a point when you are reading to avoid writing. Much like actors who keep taking so many classes that they don't go to auditions.

I liked what you had to say on your site and that is why I purchased your book. This is the same reason that I will buy your new book. I wish that John Rogers would write one as I enjoy his viewpoints also.

By Blogger John Donald Carlucci, at 4:27 PM  

someone commented over there that David Trottier is nothing but a ripoff hack...wow, I thought he was one of the good ones? BTW, I own your book, it was one of the first ones I grabbed (our screenwriting group passed around a list of recommendations)

By Blogger The Moviequill, at 8:33 AM  

Hey - Cool blog, nice layout! Checkout my identity theft blog if you can.

By Blogger Candice B., at 1:41 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.