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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great on Structure and exercises
I got so much out of this book. What is also great is he gives you tons of insite on how to work on getting an agent. Plenty of examples.This and Mckee's Story are must haves!
Published on May 24 2004

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has the essentials
Keane does offer a pretty reasonable look at screenwriting, but also professional creative writing in general. He offers his views on the different types of stories that can be written, as well as which medium is more appropriate for what.

For example, he would explain that if you're going for a internal thought heavy story, then you'd probably be better off...
Published on Sept. 18 2010 by Mperor


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has the essentials, Sept. 18 2010
By 
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
Keane does offer a pretty reasonable look at screenwriting, but also professional creative writing in general. He offers his views on the different types of stories that can be written, as well as which medium is more appropriate for what.

For example, he would explain that if you're going for a internal thought heavy story, then you'd probably be better off writing a novel, rather than a screenplay. In this case, he argues that prose expresses internal thoughts better than the visuals of a film.

He provides a pretty thorough rundown of what a screenplay should contain, the structures, and what are the main points you have to focus on, as well as a few personal tricks that he uses to work those things.

He also provides concrete examples to illustrate his points and things he talks about, so that you're not too blind going through the book.

As mentioned, he offers a relatively general look at writing as a profession. This book could work quite well for a beginner who is thinking about writing at a professional level.

However, if you've already read a good amount of books on screenwriting (such as Trottier's The Screenwriter's Bible and others), then what Keane offers is mostly a repeat of what other authors have written about this subject. Although Keane does offer you his own personal view on the matter, most of the content is similar to other 'how to write professionally' books.

This book can be a good read if it is one of your first books about screenwriting. If you already know the basics of writing or have read a lot about it already, then you can probably skip this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great on Structure and exercises, May 24 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
I got so much out of this book. What is also great is he gives you tons of insite on how to work on getting an agent. Plenty of examples.This and Mckee's Story are must haves!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, Nov. 24 2003
By 
Caleb (Brookline, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
This is a great resource for writers who have a great idea but are having trouble getting it out on paper. Accessible, funny, and informative.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primer for First-time Screenwriters, Nov. 18 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
Keane does a great job of cutting through the bull and provides a no-nonsense approach to getting your screenplay in solid shape. Lots of interesting tidbits and written with motivation, I think this is an excellent text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical guide!, Oct. 8 2003
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This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
Christopher Keane's screenwriting book is a practical guide on kick-starting your screenwriting career. I found this book filled with on-target and no-nonsense advice about how to get motivated writing, what audience to target, and how to get your screenplay sold. It even has exercise ideas to get you started.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Extremely Helpful Guide, July 13 2002
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"melaniejaney2" (Lafayette, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
I have never before written a screenplay and Chris' book has really helped me to get started. His method of first writing a 5 page summary of the story in 3 acts and then a scene-breakdown makes it easy to outline and see the entire story in front of you before you actually dive in and begin to write the screenplay. I disagree with what another user said, I enjoyed his script very much that he included as the second half of his book. Not only was it well-written, it is helpful as well, because he stops every scene or two and gives an explanation. I highly recommend this book if you are planning on getting into screenwriting!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and accurate guide, May 10 2002
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Steve (Cambridge, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
What distinguishes Mr. Keane's book from other screenwriting manuals is a clear and easily understood approach to the mechanics and rules of the genre. It's an excellent resource for beginners and for more experienced writers who need a reliable reference for tricky situations. Missing are the confounding and sometimes contradictory opinions offered by the old masters. Instead, Keane's advice stears the student away from the common pitfalls of the bad screenplay, and towards a concise, readable, and ultimately marketable product.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good stuff, April 2 2002
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"gsoare@hotmail.com" (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
Overall, this is very good.
It covers all the main areas to writing a screenplay: Character, plots, story, etc. It covers the formatting stuff, and goes over the business side (getting agent, getting it read).
It has two things some of the other books don't: plenty of little exercises to help get you started. These were very helpful. And a full screenplay of his, with his annotated notes. The screenplay was helpful, particularly for me (a novice) to see how it all comes together.
The only downsides to this book are: 1) it's not as simple, structured, and easy to read as a couple of the others (Charles Deemer's I like alot), 2) The screenplay he wrote is not very good. You'd be better off going to [url] and downloading for free one of the hundreds of scripts there.
However, it did encourage me that if that thing could get optioned, that I could write one that gets optioned too!
If you're a novice, buy Deemer's to read first. If you're a beginner who's got some fundamentals and is starting to get serious, this is the book for you (but skip his script).
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5.0 out of 5 stars From concept to popcorn, Nov. 28 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
If you have an idea for a movie but no idea on how to get started writing a screenplay, this is the book for you. Chris takes you through the fundamental steps necessary to get your thoughts and images on paper with exercises that will have you actually filling up the blank pages before you. His no-nonsense approach will make you look at your idea from 360 degrees making sure you are paying attention to plot, character development, conflict and building a strong story that an agent can 'see'. He manages to take the mystery out of this process and give concrete help and solutions to help you actually get your screenplay written and, most importantly, read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short on Namedropping, Long on Practical, Exemplified Advice, Nov. 8 2001
By 
D C Hall (Dollar, Clackmannanshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Write a Selling Screenplay (Paperback)
There are so many books on screenwriting already in existence that the real question any reviewer must address when another one comes along is: if you could only afford to buy one of them, why should you buy this one and save the others for any book tokens you might receive at Christmas? The title of this review forms the basis of my answer to that question.
Chris Keane has made his living as a professional writer for decades, focusing mostly on novels and screenplays. His success has brought him many offers of teaching posts, and indeed, he spends a considerable part of each year teaching at Emerson, where he is an Associate Professor, and at the International Film and Television Workshops in Maine. All this makes him actuely aware of the nitty-gritty needs of both the fledgling screenwriter and the writer who has been over the course more than once, but who needs to re-learn key lessons. These lessons are so key that for much of the first part of the book, one feels like one is directing a question and answer session, rather than having questions answered in which one might possibly be interested. From the question of work habits to how to generate ideas, and what to do with them once you have them, through to characterisation, dialogue, and the scene as the nucleus of the screenplay, Keane is both judicious and generous with his hard-won wisdom.
The second half of the book puts theory into practice. It consists of the full text of Keane's screenplay 'The Crossing', with honest, detached critical commentary at the end of each scene or section. This allows the reader to see exactly what Keane is talking about in the first half of the book, to experience the emotion that his own work needs to generate, to feel for the characters, and then, with Keane's assistance, to stop and reflect on why he feels as he does. In the hands of a writer with a bigger ego but less talent, this method might well have had the reader reaching for the sick bag after only a few pages, but it works wonderfully here, and it seems to me that anyone wishing a career in screenwriting could not wish for clearer, more genuine exemplification.
A final point on this structural feature of Keane's indispensable book. Something else the inclusion of this constantly optioned but not yet produced screenplay teaches the would-be screenwriter is how tough his desired career can be, that he could write a screenplay as good as Keane's and still wait a long, long time to see it on the big screen, if indeed he ever does.
Other books on screenwriting claim to 'make it easy'. Keane's puts the emphasis exactly where it should be: on the work.
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How to Write a Selling Screenplay
How to Write a Selling Screenplay by Christopher Keane (Paperback - April 13 1998)
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