Thursday, April 10, 2008

ScriptFrenzy: Screenwriting Books I Love

In honor of April’s ScriptFrenzy, I wanted to share two of my favorite screenwriting books.

I love anything by Syd Field, but this one is my favorite. SCREENPLAY: THE FOUNDATIONS OF SCREENWRITING has something for everyone whether you’re a beginner or expert screenwriter. There are lots of examples and Syd’s format of teaching is easy to follow.

The second book, ELEMENTS OF STYLE FOR SCREENWRITERS, teach writers the nuts and bolts of formatting a screenplay. Since style is so, so important this book is a must-have. Agents are rumored to toss ill-formatted screenplays in the trash, so get that format down! :)

Last summer, at FSU, I had one elective left. I signed up for screenwriting (exciting!) and was thrilled to be enrolled in the class. Imagine three hours twice a week of screenwriting. Ah. Then, scheduling changed and the course ended up at the same time of one of my required lit seminars. Boo. I’m still dying to try a screenwriting class and will probably do so online, but I just don’t have time right now. I’ve been looking at UCLA Extension and Gotham. For now, however, I’m learning the format when I’m taking a break from book writing and articles. It’s a completely new field and quite fun.

I read in the June Writer’s Digest that Hollywood bigwigs view novels as a “dry run” for writing episodic TV and if that’s true, cool!

Anyone else have screenwriting aspirations?

Hopefully, I’ll have new author photos to share with you guys tomorrow or over the weekend.


Keri Mikulski said...

I'd love to take a screenwriting course! I was sent a screenplay about a month ago to look over.. I loved reading it and was intrigued by the whole movie process.. It's a hush hush project right now.. But, I can't wait to see the final product, which should be out this year. Clue - it's a new sporty flick.:)

Stephanie J said...

The only time I was inspired to try a screenplay was when "Good Will Hunting" came out. I thought it was sooooo cool that these two guys who were so unknown came up with something so good. Goodness... I think that was in middle school? Late elementary? Obviously, nothing came of our attempts. I admire those who have screenwriting talent but I don't think it's something that's up my alley. But I send out shouts of support for anyone doing ScriptFrenzy!

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Oooh, intrigue, Keri!

I love hearing about what inspires others, Steph. Great story! :)

SAH said...

I don't have any screen writing aspirations, but I've studied screenwriting because it helps me write tighter.

Susan Sandmore said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I think Elements of Style for Screenwriters sounds like a must-have!

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

That's very true, sah. It definitely does help, I think, and teaches good dialogue.

Hi, Susan! Yep, Elements is fantastic! :)

Anonymous said...


I read your blog and saw your interest in screenwriting. I am the Screenwriting Program Representative at UCLA Extension. If you have any questions about taking screenwriting courses through UCLA Extension, feel free to contact me at or 310-206-2612.

Leigh-Michil George

P.S. Your blogsite looks great and your writing credits are very impressive.

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