|5th Edition (2011)|
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.
"Keep it simple."
- Ray Frensham
PS: You are either in it for the enjoyment or for the reward.