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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Teach Yourself Screenwriting

5th Edition (2011) 
This book has taught me a lot.

In fact, I taught myself screenwriting with the third edition before going to university to study it, as a result: wasn't taught anything new on the craft for the first two years.

Luckily, I wasn't going there to be taught the craft.

This is a great book for beginners and is there to prevent you from rushing into things and suffering the potential side effects:

  • Start writing a feature screenplay of Roman epic proportions: get stuck four pages in and give up. 
  • Jump straight into theory/methods from intermediate + material from Syd Field, Blake Snyder, Robert McKee, John Truby, etc: get a headache, overwhelmed, and possibly get writer's block before you even start. 
  • Religiously follow professional screenwriter blogs and websites for advice, how to info, craft insight, competitions, success stories, agents, spec sales, box office, and so on: feel worse off, more insecure, develop a severe migraine and/or inferiority complex. 
  • Sign up for a UK scriptwriting degree (likely - with no business sense in the programme): do some serious damage to your writing nerves, confidence, prospects and financial accounts. 

You must lay the foundations: that entails discovering whether this is something you want to do - by engaging with the basics and reality of it all. 

The less distractions - the better. 

Remember: 

"Keep it simple.

- Ray Frensham 

PS: You are either in it for the enjoyment or for the reward.

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