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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for the procrastinating screenwriter
I roll my eyes and sigh every time a screenwriting book mentions tired old forumula's and routine screenplay templates such as plot point number 2 has to fall on page 45 or the turning point has to be on page 90, etc.
This book is riddled with them.
However, I found this book to be a nice roadmap for the writer who deliberates much too much in their head and...
Published on Jan. 12 2004

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT for Beginners
This book is a quick and entertaining read and if you follow it, you will be able to write a movie in 21 days -- but not a GOOD movie. The book provides a method for producing pages, but gives you nothing about creating a good story, characters, dialogue, or the so very important HOOK. I suggest you read other books, read articles on screenwriting, take a screenwriting...
Published on Dec 11 2003


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT for Beginners, Dec 11 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
This book is a quick and entertaining read and if you follow it, you will be able to write a movie in 21 days -- but not a GOOD movie. The book provides a method for producing pages, but gives you nothing about creating a good story, characters, dialogue, or the so very important HOOK. I suggest you read other books, read articles on screenwriting, take a screenwriting class, read good produced screenplays. Go through the process of writing a screenplay with the needed elements -- a screenwriting class can help you do this. Then, after you understand what writing a script is about, then you might be able to use Viki King's book as a discipline guide to help you put out some pages. Fact is, writing a screenplay is NOT easy, NOT quick, and once you've done one and gotten legitimate critique on it, then you will learn what all of the produced screenwriters preach -- writing is re-writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for the procrastinating screenwriter, Jan. 12 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
I roll my eyes and sigh every time a screenwriting book mentions tired old forumula's and routine screenplay templates such as plot point number 2 has to fall on page 45 or the turning point has to be on page 90, etc.
This book is riddled with them.
However, I found this book to be a nice roadmap for the writer who deliberates much too much in their head and thusly produces nothing in effect. I followed the 21 days writing excercise and managed to get a first draft on paper roughly around 27 days.
For that alone, I recommend this book. But if you want to learn how to 'write', don't look for any book to teach you that. It's true that every story has a beginning, middle, and end but when you rely on Hollywood standards you end up with a generic film script.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for any starting writer, March 20 2002
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
As a writer, my biggest problem is slowing down to fix what I'm writing before I've finished writing it. It's very easy for me to get so caught up in making something sound perfect that I never get around to finishing the piece--just write it off as another imperfect work-in-progress and go on to something else.
King's approach gets you writing, writing, writing, writing, writing. You don't even think about editing until the whole story has been written down--even if it's written down in a thoroughly unreadable form. Her reasoning? It's easier to make something good from something mediocre (or even bad) than it is to make something good from nothing.
I've written a few screenplays (none sold yet, doggone it), but only one using exactly the plan outlined in this book. I found that, while her method works and works very well, just going through it once showed me where the span of my writing approach needed her kind of support and where it stood firmly on my own abilities.
I continue to use her 8-minute exercises because they are wonderful for getting you writing while preventing you from thinking about writing: if you only have 8 minutes to cover a topic, you'd better get those words onto paper as fast as you can. 8 minutes is the perfect limit because it's enough to get a substantial amount written--but only if you don't spend your time diddling with the words. Longer than 8 minutes and an old diddler like me will be tempted to diddle.
I don't use her "write 20 pages in 2 hours" approach, but I do write each scene in a block from beginning to end without stopping, for as many pages as that first visceral "heart draft" of the scene needs to be.
It's been a long time since I've read this book--though I do give it a once-over before I start a project--and many things she teaches in it have stuck with me as personal approaches to writing. It's a small book, but that's only because she doesn't waste time getting to her point.
A very rich find--it should serve every screenwriter well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An O.K. intro, but it forces you to produce standard fare., Dec 15 2001
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This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
Viki's system is a good kick in the pants. It motivates you to write, but it forces a three-act structure on your screenplay. Great for "Lethal Weapon" and the like, but a bit intolerant for something more innovative.
But typing "Lethal Weapon" in 21 days is a good deal as well! Not a bad intro to screenwriting, but not great. Take her page-by-day deadlines and apply it to something with deeper character structure initially.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't be in such a rush!, April 10 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
I owe this book a debt in that it got me off ground zero in writing a script that is finally (many years later) starting to get some real exposure in the film business. It is a very motivational book and breaks the process down into easy to understand steps.
But...think more like 21 weeks, or even 21 months, or more, to produce a quality script. It takes that long, especially if you are new to the process, to really let the subject percolate and allow for objectivity and careful re-drafting. And if your subject is very complex and requires a great deal of research, as mine did, add even more time.
Where the book is entirely unrealistic is in suggesting that one will be successful right away in the film business with scripts cranked out in a mere 21 says, so therefore should treat one's "day job" as simply a means to an end, even to the point of using one's employer's resources to further that end. The author even claims that that's wise. Don't do that! You'll probably need that job a lot longer than you think. Remember that your employer owns your time while you are there and the job's resources, and could get very ugly if you don't honor that.
I found Syd Field's books on the subject to be more helpful and realistic, as well as motivational.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 21 days to write it and 1 second to reach the bin !, Jan. 15 2004
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
It simply didn't work for me.If you are beginner, you need more than this little book.The Screenwriter bible by David Trottier is the ONE.Do not expect to write any good stories in 21 days.Stop dreaming and start writing.This book is kind of hard to read so if it's for beginner, it is just done to to make your learning more difficult than anything else. Forget it and follow my advice above.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is about discipline., April 23 2002
By 
Steven D. Ward (Independence, MO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
Thank you thank you thank you Vicki King. I put off buying this book for a long time because I thought it sounded like a gimmick. What it really does is teaches you discipline. Follow King's advice and you'll be on your way to a completed screenplay (I used this book to write my second feature-length, and I will use it to write all future projects too).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into movie writing, writing, and life, Feb. 4 2002
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
In this short (less than 200 pages) book, Viki King explores both a method for writing a movie and some of the basic issues that all writers must face from time to time. Although King is writing specifically about the movie business, her lessons are generally applicable to all types of writing. King addresses issues such as what to write, how to go about writing, and how to overcome obstacles.
Writers are frequently faced with the challenge of how to write when the rest of the world is calling on us to do something else. King's suggestions on the 'junk job,' writing with (or without) partners, and creating time and place to write are universals that are valuable to all types of writers. I also enjoyed some of her tricks--creating the whole book with blank paper and an end note, then filling in the rest as you went--to overcome writers block. Writers who want to explore screenwriting, or who just want to look at writing from a different slant will enjoy HOW TO WRITE A MOVIE IN 21 DAYS.
Although I don't write screenplays, I re-read How to Write... occasionally just to remind myself of what I'm trying to do (write novels) and how to keep the priorities of my life straight. My wife, who does write screenplays, has adapted the Viki King approach to meet her needs--she finds that having her task for the day set out makes it a lot easier to get it done than if she was just given the formatting and plot and had to take it from there.
If you've ever thought about writing a movie, or if you're a writer looking for a little inspiration, I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worked for Me!, Jan. 22 2002
By 
Andrew (MERRICK, NY, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
This is a gimmick book with substance, if such a thing is possible.
At the risk of sounding like a cheesey testimonial, I want to say that I bought the book, read it, followed the simple advice she offered and the result was a finished screenplay.
Viki King understands all the things that prevent people who want to write from doing so. She can chase away all the negative thoughts that cloud a writer's mind. I also appreciated the way she assures you that quitting your job and selling all you own will not make it any easier to finish something if you are not in the right frame of mind.
Have I sold my screenplay? No. But the satisfaction I got in finally finishing one was worth the price of the book and then some.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully helpful!, Dec 16 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: How To Write A Movie In 21 Days (Paperback)
This book is only one of seven that I read to get me started in screenwriting. Her techniques really work. She gets you to write. No more endlessly pondering everything and being fearful. After 21 days, you will have a first draft (not a finished script), but it is a lot closer than having nothing at all on paper. I now have an L.A. agent who is working to sell my first screenplay. Viki King is, in part, to be thanked!
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How To Write A Movie In 21 Days
How To Write A Movie In 21 Days by Viki King (Paperback - Aug. 6 1993)
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