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Paperback The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script Book

ISBN: 1879505444

ISBN13: 9781879505445

The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script

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Book Overview

This revised, updated edition offers screenwriting basics, a workbook covering the writing process from ideas to revisions, correct formats for screenplays and TV scripts, a spec writing guide and a sales and marketing guide. There is a resource guide of addresses and contacts.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fundamentals of writing, formatting, and selling a script

Author David Trottier's monthly columns on screenplay format for Scr(i)pt Magazine are always a must-read, so I had high hopes for his book, which I probably should have read a long time ago. I wasn't disappointed. The Screenwriter's Bible presents everything a beginning or novice screenwriter needs to put together a professional script and market it. The information is concise and clearly presented so anybody can grasp it, using lots of concrete examples, some from classic movies and some from the author's own scripts. The Screenwriter's Bible is divided into six sub-books. Book I outlines story-telling basics, including information specific to movie-making. The second book is a step-by-step workbook putting the Book I knowledge to use. Book III is all about format--and this is, perhaps, the book's greatest strength and the reason most people buy it. The information is current and well-organized. Book IV is about how to make your spec script stand out from the crowd, from a script consultant's point of view, and offers sound advice for revising and polishing. Book V covers how to market a script (an art form in itself). The last book is a list of resources, such as consultants, books and websites, contests, conferences, etc. If I have one picky comment, it's the made-up script Trottier uses to illustrate the different elements of format. It's intended to be a joke, but it's so bad it's distracting. I would think someone who sets himself up as an expert would come up with a sample that better illustrates his talent and serves as an example to his students.

An Invaluable Reference Tool for Screenwriters

Want to know the difference between "O.S." (off-screen) and "V.O." (voiceover), and when to use each? How about that between "Intercut" and "Match Cut?" Then you want to buy "The Screenwriters Bible," script consultant David Trottier's encyclopedic reference on creating memorable characters, on storytelling, and especially on formatting. I am an optioned writer, who has written several scripts (and TV sitcoms), yet I find Trottier's work an invaluable reference."The Screenwriter's Bible" is also useful as a marketing tool, especially his sample project plan and action plan, which all writers will find useful as a template. Remember, your great spec script is a business proposal as much as anything else, for a project which will run well into 8 figures, in most cases. Approach it with the same care and attention to detail that you would if you were trying to sell your garage software development firm to Microsoft.Unlike many "How-to" screenwriting books, Trottier's sample query letters are actually quite entertaining. If I were a Hollywood suit, I'd bite at the sample "Wizard of Oz" example.This book won't tell you how to write a great story (that's something that really can't be taught), but it will help you get the mechanics of the trade down. There are many terrible scripts which have been made into movies, but virtually all of them (even those starring Pauly Shore) get the details correct.In summation, if I had to pick just one screenwriting book, this would be my first choice.

A Lot to Digest

Trottier's hook for The Screenwriter's Bible is that it's actually six books in one. Not bad for less than $20. Pretty much, this book includes everything you need to know about the screenwriting business -- especially if you're a rookie.With six completely different books, it's easy to find the information you need to start on the road to screenwriting stardom. The sections cross-reference, so the book can be a tad bit repetitive at times, but this is useful as it grounds important facts into your brain.One of the things I appreciated about this book was the information on writing for TV as well as the Silver Screen. I also appreciated the detailed treatment of that oh-so-important detail, STRUCTURE of your script.Because of the price and the sheer amount of information included, I give this book five stars: good value, good information, pleasant writing -- a winner!


The only reason I gave this book 5 stars is because, frankly, I couldn't give it 6 stars. As a beginning screenwriter, I became very discouraged when I could not find any reference manuals on spec scripts. Many were formal production script manuals that gave you everything you didn't need to know for getting a spec script formated properly. I began thinking anyone interested in screen writing is already working for the production company who already buys scripts for production (There must be a "spec script fairly" out there somewhere). Before this book, there were actually times when I put my writing off for the simple fact that I would have a fear of getting stuck trying to figure out what to include and what not to format-wise and have it interfere with the creative process.But know thanks to this "Bible," it gives every answer to every to every question asked by a beginning screen writer trying to get his or her spec script in the proper format to get into the market. And that's just for formatting. I haven't even started to look at the last two books of the Screenwriter's Bible on marketing and references and if it's anything like the previous ones, I should be able to find every avenue available for getting my script at least read.The Screenwriter's Bible is sectioned off into different parts for the different processes of the getting your screenplay off the ground and does a great job doing it. Can't think of anything that was missed. Thank you David Trotteir! I only wish that Hollywood will be as fair as you are.

This wonderful book changed my career

My agent told me to buy this book, and it has helped me tremendously in breaking in. As a working writer, I am pleased to find something that is helping my career. (I sold my script.) The book is endorsed by an academy-award winning writer (William Kelly), some top agents, and other Hollywood types. As for me, it's the best screenwriting book I've ever read--bar none. The writing primer section presents all of the sreenwriting fundamentals. It's perfect for novices and a good review for professionals. The workbook asks hundreds of questions that I use to keep me on track. I love the Character/Action Grid--an excellent revision tool. The formatting guide is easy to understand--I like it much better than Cole and Haag's classic. The marketing plan is what's helping me the most right now; it's very focused. Obviously the author knows the business. The resources section includes all the contests, script consultants, software, etc.It's not the last word on s! ! creenwriting, especially for old pros; but it guides you in every aspect of screenwriting in clear, concise language. And it covers the basics. The book is jam-packed with info you can use.
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