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Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great [Paperback]

William M Akers
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2008
A lifetime member of the Writer's Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.

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Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great + Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You know... Oct. 15 2009
Format:Paperback
there's nothing quite like a book that gets to the point.

You just started writing, your excited, amazed at your own creativity and can't wait to see Will Ferrel or Adam Sandler play your lead. The only problem? You're screenplay sucks. Everyone's first screenplay sucks, it's how writing works and Williams book is honest about it.

In a simple, step by step guide to turn that steaming pile into at least a readable screenplay. William takes you through all the blunders that first time or new writers tend to do. From using the wrong formatting to not giving your bad guy a bad guy speech! After reading this book and doing what it says you'll at the very least make sure your screenplay that you've been working on for 6 months isn't thrown out after page 1.

William doesn't guarantee success, he's honest about what his book is going to do. It isn't 100 ways to get rich quick, it isn't a hundred ways to get Seth Rogan to play your leads, it will make your screenplay better then it is. Which could still suck.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very thorough March 25 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book. It's like a check list. It's not that in depth, but it has large coverage of all aspects of screen writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!! Dec 25 2010
Format:Paperback
Simply the best 'how to' screenwriting book I've ever read.

To me, this means something, as I've been writing (part-time) my first feature lenght screenplay now for almost 2 years. (I've read easily over 20 books on the subject of screenplay writing.)

With the help of Will's book, I'm currently rewriting my screenplay, and I'm smiling!

By implementing many of Will's tips, substantial depth is being created with respect to my chatacters, plot, and overall screenplay.

What can I say, but - WILL'S BOOK ROCKS!

Thanks Will!

I believe!

Cheers
Stephen Fielding
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  117 reviews
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book on the Basics of Screenwriting July 29 2008
By Matthew Terry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Okay, I'm starting this review to note that I'm jealous. Why? I could have written this book but, sadly, I didn't. For the sake of screenwriters out there, though, I'm glad SOMEONE did. It's about time.

In all my years of teaching screenwriting and reading and critiquing scripts I've come across all the items that Mr. Akers talks about in this book and then some. I'm extremely happy that it is all right there, in print.

How does the book help? Well, it lays it all right out there for you. Basic. To the point. Mr. Akers takes you from the idea stage to the "Hollywood is going to LOVE ME" stage in 100 easy steps. Okay, maybe "easy" isn't the best word. Anything worth working on, and working towards, isn't usually easy and that is one of the reasons why this book works so well. It's not a quick fix to screenwriting but a process: a well defined deconstruction of the process.

Every quarter I get a writer in my class who assumes that screenwriting is "easy." Sure it's not writing "War and Peace" but it's also not "easy." But in the 8 sessions of my class - it's difficult to define what makes screenwriting so difficult. What I like about Mr. Akers book so much is that he takes the difficult and gives you ideas on how to make it easy. When I critique screenplays I always hope that I will provide the writer with a: "Ooooh, THAT'S what you're talking about!" moment. Mr. Akers' book is full of them.

Another reason why I like this book so much is that Mr. Akers is honest with the reader. Especially in the section about Hollywood. Every quarter I struggle mightily against what I refer to as the "Lotto Mentality" when it comes to screenwriting. Those in the class who think that all they need to do is churn out that script about their mother's hysterectomy and Hollywood will come calling and money will fall like manna from heaven. Honesty is a good thing, especially when you are starting out - and too often there are too many books that just say what they think the reader wants to hear.

As for my issues with the book... Well, there are a few things that Mr. Akers did not touch on that I think are very important and I'll send those to him for the hoped for sequel to the book. Plus I would have loved more examples of what he was talking about and referring to. And, lastly, it would have been nice to have some sort of "coding" system as to what is EXTREMELY important and what is only VERY important. Certainly all 100 of these references are important but I think there were probably some that rise to a different level. Trust me, if you have typos and bad structure - just toss your script into a shredder now because it's not going to go anywhere. Where as, yeah having two characters named Jim and Tim isn't ideal and it MAY get your script tossed - it won't be tossed as quickly if you've misspelled ten words on the first page of your script.

Bottom line: Will Akers takes a straight-forward no-nonsense approach to the process of writing and fixing your screenplay. He cuts through the crap and gets right to the heart of what is wrong and simply tells you how to fix it. Fantastic book.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Wonder Why Your Script Sucks? Aug. 17 2009
By Gary W. Allison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have! I don't know about you, but when I finish a screenplay, I am in absolute despair. I'm in despair, because I know that when I start the rewriting process, I am going to see some of the most god-awful writing to date. I hate my first drafts and I was starting to fear that I hate writing, making me even more depressing to be around. That is until I read Your Screenplay Sucks!

Within the first chapter, I realized that it wasn't my first drafts that I hated. It was that I couldn't pin point exactly what bothered me about my efforts. I understand plot, structure, and grabbing your audience within the first ten pages, but there had always been something gnawing at me about my work. This book was a shiny light in my eyes. I was mesmerized by its glow, but much like a deer caught in the headlights, it revealed one thing... I'm an idiot. Thank God I'm not a talentless idiot, though.

This book has great advice on how to tighten up your writing, how to choose the right character (huge!), the importance of "place", how to improve dialogue, getting to the point, choosing the right words, ending with the right words, words, etc.

I used to recommend the Screenwriter's Bible to people who want to learn about screenwriting. From now on, I suggest Your Screenplay Sucks!

Great job.
53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Like Your Truth Neat, Drink This Book July 27 2008
By Richard Beban - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A small clip underscoring why you need this plain-spoken, truthful take on the the movie biz, and why it needs better screenplays than most of us have been capable of (before reading this book, of course). Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Have The Next 100! Nov. 21 2009
By Carl King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Great artists don't follow strict rules, and neither should you.

But a brutal list of 100 common amateur oversights, mistakes, and movie clichés? Incredibly handy while absorbed in the world of screenwriting! It's so easy to get lost as you write. So many things to forget. So many things to reconsider. So many ways to blow holes in your imaginary adventure.

Your work will never be great if you can't tell when and when not to apply these ideas. If you're on the right track, you'll use this list as a starting point to come up with your own creative checklist. This book is like your own merciless screenwriting critic: shaking his head and frowning, tearing you to shreds, sending you back to your laptop in humility. And that's better than ruining Terry Rossio's afternoon, right?

I discovered this book at random in the book store. I was so intrigued with its concepts that I sat down in the store and read the entire thing, cover to cover. Wow. I couldn't help but take it home as a permanent reference tool. Anything that helps you look at your storytelling and communication skills in a new way is priceless.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK! July 24 2008
By CWS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Okay, there are a ton of screenwriting books out there (I've written one myself), but Akers's book is one that will bring your script three steps closer to being sold. This is the book, presented like a professional check list, that you should turn to as soon as you've completed your first draft and are beginning rewrites. It's your script so you're going to be too close to the material to see the flaws and opportunities - Akers's book walks you through what you need to do by breaking the process down into manageable steps.

We all have to rewrite but few of us have professional readers to help find the fixes. This book fills that gap. And it's a fun read with lots of examples. If you want to actually sell your scripts, I recommend you get this.
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