One Fish Always Breaks the First Night

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The longer I’m on twitter the more screenwriters I meet, both established and brand new.  Sometimes it astounds me how little the newbies know.  Instead of doling out resources 140 characters at a time I’m going to send them to this post.  I will update this post whenever there is something else I think they should look at.

NONE OF THE FOLLOWING IS GOING TO MAKE YOU A WRITE A GREAT SCREENPLAY but hopefully they will make you better.  If you read, pay attention, and practice they will help you understand screenplays and screenwriting better.

For more experienced screenwriters reading this, please let me know if there is something I should add.

Internet Resources

http://screenwriting.io/ is a search engine just for basic questions about screenwriting.

http://johnaugust.com/ has a ton of information about screenwriting from a current working screenwriter’s perspective.

http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/ is an online news magazine on what’s happening in the business of film and television.

http://www.scriptmag.com/ has information, advice, news and listings of events, all geared toward  screenwriters.

http://www.wga.org/ to learn about the union you will have to join if you become successful.

http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/ By far my favorite internet resource is Go Into the Story which is the official blog of The Black List. (If you don’t know what The Black List is you must go to their website and click the about button.) Lessons on everything from dialogue to taking meetings can be found in the archives of this blog.  Start with this post and go on from there.

One of the greatest things I ever did for my screenwriting career is taking Jeanne Veillette Bowerman’s  Breaking in Outside of Hollywood webinar.  She opened the world of internet networking to me.

For Scripts

http://www.imsdb.com/

http://www.mypdfscripts.com/

https://www.wgfoundation.org/screenwriting-library for info on visiting the Writer’s Guild Foundation script library

Networking Sites

On twitter, I would recommend following a mix of established screenwriters and struggling artists like yourself.  Also screenwriting information feeds are great.

Here is a short list of @’s that regularly post advice or news to follow.

@Gointothestory @Jeannevb @Stage32online @johnaugust @thescriptlab @screenwritingU @theblcklst @scriptshadow

@scriptquack @LaFamiliaFilm @FluideyeFilms @onthepage @networkISA @writersguildF @scriptmag @bittrscrptreadr

@dannymanus @xanderbennett @unkscreenwriter

Books to Read

The Save the Cat books focus on making marketable Hollywood movies. Personally, I think Save the Cat is interesting but it doesn’t give the specificity and practical applications of its two sequels.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=save+the+cat&sprefix=save+the+cat%2Caps%2C193

The Syd Field books are older but still talked about because of their focus on three act structure. The Screenwriter’s Workbook was my very first screenwriting book and did help me understand what all the other books were talking about.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=save+the+cat&sprefix=save+the+cat%2Caps%2C193#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=syd+field&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Asyd+field

Robert McKee’s Story is another staple in the industry.  Though most of the examples in the book are from movies Story is a book that does not focus on screenwriting exclusively but storytelling of every kind.  There is a lot of controversy over Robert McKee’s Story Seminar.  It’s a very expensive four day lecture with some audience participation.  I say if you have the money go.  I have attended and liked it very much. The first day is a  review of the concepts in the book and the following days are lots of knowledge.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=save+the+cat&sprefix=save+the+cat%2Caps%2C193#/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=robert+mckee+story&sprefix=robert+mcke%2Caps%2C220&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Arobert+mckee+story

 

4 responses »

  1. Excellent list of resources. Book-wise, I really like Michael Hague’s Writing Screenplays That Sell – great starter book – and Alex Epstein’s Crafty Screenwriting, and Crafty TV Writing… But it’s largely a matter of finding the advice that suits you, because every writer works in different ways.

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