(And if you don’t already have sympathy for screenwriters try reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Gold Fish Pond” or David Morrell’s “The Successful Novelist.”)
The book points out that there’s a greater chance of winning the lottery than selling a screenplay, but—if you have drive and talent—following the honest and generous advice in this book can only stack the odds in your favor.
I am not a screenwriter (even though I won five dollars on a scratch and win ticket once)—but want to learn all I can from all kinds of writers and all kinds of books.
It’s well organized by topic and can be re-read in doses as needed. It claims to not be a writing craft book—but it’s that and more. Anyone with a story to tell should find value in this book. Or at least be inspired.
One of my favorite quotes is from the chapter on rewriting:
“An art teacher once taught me to hold a painting up to a mirror to see its hidden flaws. But there is no equivalent to that in writing. If you hold up your script to a mirror, it’s just backwards! The only way to get that perspective is time away from the material. So the trick in rewriting is to get away from it for as long as you can.” — Steven DeSouza
Are you thinking of writing a screenplay? Then you could use the advice in this book. First of all, this is not a how-to book. It doesn't show you how to develop characters, or structure a story, or tell you how to write. What it does give you is information on the daily life and habits of professional screenwriters. One of the most important pieces of advice is to just write. Too often, a beginning screenwriter will spend years to write one script and then shop it around. This is a big mistake for several reasons. A movie producer is looking for someone who can work reliably at speed. If you've only written one script, they're going to be suspicious about your abilities. Another thing is that producers are very busy, so if you get one of them to finally read your script, it's going to be the first and last chance. Do you really want to show him your first script? It's trash to him. Would you send your first painting to an art gallery? Of course not, so you shouldn't do the same with screenwriting. You should have written 5 to 10 screenplays before you think of showing your work around. Most aspiring screenwriters don't want to put in this work, and it shows. If you write, you will get better. If you love writing, and you can apply yourself to your writing, then you can have a chance to work in Hollywood.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get into this cutthroat industry. I learned the most from Ron Bass and Eric Roth. They have great insights within the book and I respect their work. The portion about acquiring an agent and outlining your script were particularly helpful to me. This is going into my amazing pile, next to "The Writers Journey" and "Immediate Fiction". 5/5!
This book is without a doubt an interesting read. As one who already writes (though not necessarily or exclusively screenplays), I like it because it illustrates beautifully how every writer's process, goals, and priorities are different and equally valid because it works for that individual writer. This is a far cry from the endless and often contradictory "must-do's" in other writing books. What you find in this book is the amazing diversity of how writers write. I've seen similar books that interview novelists but this is far more entertaining, better organized and is chunked in digestable pieces.
A lot of screenwriting books out there can be great sources on what to do and what not to do while writing a screenplay. This book is not like those...it's better. It's like sitting down with a handful of screenwriters and disscussing the process from start to finish. This is advice and multiple views on many of the essential parts of screenwiriting straight from the horses mouth. This is a book that can jump start you if you fall behind and give you what you need to make it through your screenplay. This is a must have.
Packed with advice from some of the top writers working in the biz today. Great questions, great answers. I read this book over & over again, whenever I'm stuck, dipping into the appropriate section. Great book. Thanks, Karl.
Different than other books on Screenwriting. After you've figured out the mechanics, this book will help inspire you to do the work -- which I think is the hardest part!! Thanks to Karl Iglesias for this gift to writer wannabees.
There are dozens of books with advice on how to write a screenplay ranging from great advice to blueprints for the humdrum. There aren't enough good books to keep you doing what you need to do to succeed. Yglesias method makes this a good book to dip into. And he doesn't hide contradictory opinions. Better than coffee whether you need a lift on a day when your working or a kick in the keister on a day when you aren't
I stumbled across this book and browsed through several pages, and being the cynic, expected another boring, recycled screenwriting book. It wasn't until I took it home that I began to fully appreciate what a gem of a book it really is. It reinforced many of the best ideas found in other books and also presented new information. There are many authors out there that are getting fat feeding off the millions of aspiring screenwriters with books that are stale, mistaken and formulaic. 101 Habits is a refreshing and honest book that belongs in its own category for excellence and quality. It will transform the way you approach your craft and the business side of the game. In many ways it is really several screenwriting books edited down into one masterpiece, with most of the information coming straight from the mouths of working screenwriters. Thank you for your fine effort Mr. Iglesias. Please write another.
I have a ton of Screeenwriting books at home and this is one of the most helpful and inspirational. I've read certain sections of the book many times over. Some of the top Hollywood screeenwriters give insightful, practical help on a number of topics relating to the field. The book is laid out in specific, narrow topics and each writer/mentor gives his/her view on the topic (work habits, writer's block, creating characters, surviving in Hollywood, pitching, etc). Reading it gives you the feeling of having your own panel of true experts there giving advice and encouragement. The only criticism I have is that the writers featured in the book have not written many films that I would call "great", daring, or innovative. The exception being Nicholas Kazan who wrote REVERSAL OF FORTUNE...and I also like Roth's FORREST GUMP. The credits of the other writers tend toward the 'conventional Hollywood movie'. But this is a minor personal quibble, the advice given is still solid and helpful. I highly recommend this to any aspiring screenwriter. Well worth the money.