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Screenwriting For Dummies Paperback – Jun 30 2008

3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (June 30 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470345403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470345405
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Ideal for general readers, the book uses everyday examples and addresses social issues such as sweatshops and fair trade." Moneywise June 2008 "A guide for absolute beginners, it will take you through the whole process".Writers Forum June 2008

From the Back Cover

Write a great script and get it into the hands of the Hollywood players!

So you want to be a screenwriter? Whether you want to write a feature film or a TV script or adapt your favorite book, this friendly guide gives you expert advice in everything from creating your story and developing memorable characters to formatting your script and selling it to the studios. You get savvy industry tips and strategies for getting your screenplay noticed!

  • The screenwriting process from A to Z — from developing a concept and thinking visually to plotline, conflicts, pacing, and the conclusion

  • Craft living, breathing characters — from creating the backstory to letting your characters speak to balancing dialogue with action

  • Turn your story into a script — from developing an outline and getting over writer's block to formatting your screenplay and handling rewrites

  • Prepare for Hollywood — from understanding the players and setting your expectations to polishing your copy and protecting your work

  • Sell your script to the industry — from preparing your pitch and finding an agent to meeting with executives and making a deal

Open the book and find:

  • The latest on the biz, from entertainment blogs to top agents to box office jargon

  • New story examples from recently released films

  • Tips on character development, a story's time clock, dramatic structure, and dialogue

  • New details on developing the nontraditional screenplay — from musicals to animation to high dramatic style

  • Expanded information on adaptation and collaboration, with examples from successful screenwriting duos

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Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Fair information about the fundamentals of screenwriting but don't expect to write a good script. I suggest to further your knowledge on more experienced authors on the matter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's got a lot of good information in it. A little repetitive but well organized. The industry advice is a nice bonus as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6f6239c) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6f99c6c) out of 5 stars A Decent Place to Start for Beginners... Could Have Been Better, Though Dec 5 2008
By musicmanblue1975 - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a fairly comprehensive guide to writing screenplays. You'll find tips on how to structure your screenplay, advice on how to craft compelling plots and deeper characters, instructions for formatting your script to industry standards, and finally a guide to marketing your script to Hollywood agents and producers. I was going to give this book 4 stars, but ultimately decided on 3 stars due to the author's unfortunate habit of using music metaphors to explain film industry techniques. There are two problems with this... 1) For a reader who has no experience as a composer or a performing orchestral musician, the author's use of one artform (music) to explain another (filmmaking) is completely useless as the analogy will not make any sense and only serve to further confuse the reader 2) In addition to being confusing for non-musicians, these analogies are infuriating to those of us who actually do understand music, because of the author's ignorance of the subject matter. This is most evident in one example (there are many others that I won't take the time to detail) where the author claims that a pause in dialogue is analogous to a grace note in music. She obviously has confused grace notes for rests. A grace note is a short note that precedes a written note, typically used to create an accent. A rest indicates one or more beats of silence. She is way off the mark here, and it makes her look more than a little foolish to those in the know. In summary, I would recommend this book as a starter for beginners, with a warning to ignore her attempts at analogy and focus in on those parts of the book where she explains things in a straight-forward and less colorful manner.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6f9d090) out of 5 stars wrong title May 26 2011
By Kerry - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be retitled "Writing a book for dummies". It concentrates WAY too much on creating a story and writer's block. If you already know how to write a decent story you're not going to like this book. It doesn't get in2 screenwriting until Chapter 15, and there are only TWO pages of screenwriting format. I was expecting at least a chapter of format, considering the title. False advertising. I'd look into other books.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6f99e7c) out of 5 stars Very Detailed and Current Description on How to Write a Screenplay July 22 2013
By Rich Duisenberg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent well written and informative book. Don't let the "Dummies" title fool you. This book is full of good information that would would helpful to any beginning screenwriter, or veteran writer who just needs a little reaffirmation about the changes and rewards of the screenwriting process. I would recommend it to anyone in the writing field, whether they're doing a screenplay, novel, short story, etc.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6f9d0cc) out of 5 stars Good, but a little disorganized (review for the 2003 edition) Dec 8 2010
By Nat - Published on
Format: Paperback
Screenwriting for dummies is a good resource that provides a lot of good, helpful information. I particularly enjoy the use of lists and clearly defined titles in each section because they make it easier to find what I'm looking for, something that's harder to do with books that are more on the anecdotal side.

Having said that, I don't like the way the book is organized. Someone who is completely inexperienced in scriptwriting might get confused trying to navigate through it. I was also quite shocked that even though there's a section about adapting other works of literature to script format, there was no mention of the legal complexities something like that might entitle.

But, all in all, Screenwriting for dummies is a good resource, but definitely not the only one that an inexperienced, aspiring screenwriting needs.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6f9d504) out of 5 stars Screenwriting for Dummies Aug. 20 2013
By Jane - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This does the trick for the most part but if you know anything at all about decent writing, too basic.