150 Screenwriting Challenges

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Writer/director Eric Heisserer has collected 150 specific exercises to help screenwriters develop and hone their skills in dialogue, character, story, idea generation, and rewriting.

Hi. I'm Eric, and I'm a working screenwriter, which is a dressed-up way of saying it's how I pay the rent. I started writing for the chance at paying the rent with it about fifteen years ago (oh god, that's a long time, I was such a derp), and during that long, slow crawl uphill to professional status I learned a ton of tricks and tests to help me improve my craft, including ways to find my own unique voice, and methods to break through writer's block.

A few years ago I began sharing these writing challenges on Twitter (@HIGHzurrer) and gained a healthy number of followers who were just here for the "writing insight porn" if you know what I mean. This book contains my favorite challenges from that collection, plus a few dozen new ones I've learned since then.

To be honest, the book is going to be as much a reference document for myself as I hope it will be for you, so here it is. We're in this together.

– Eric

Product Details

  • File Size: 1735 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Eric Heisserer; 01 edition (November 6, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 6, 2013
  • Sold by: ¬†Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled

Customer Reviews

Forget the formulas; improve your writing.

5 people found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2013
By T. S. Keiner
Unlike the many “secret formula” screenwriting manuals for sale, Eric presents writing exercises to improve your writing and fire your imagination. There are no charts here, no after-the-fact film analyses, but rather simple, fun exercises that can help you become a better writer and an implicit understanding that becoming a better writer is the only thing that matters. Heisserer should know, he’s lived the career of a screenwriter (unlike most).

Fade In

3 people found this helpful.
 on November 13, 2013
By T. Simmons
There are a lot of books out there that will tell you about writing screenplays. How to structure them, how to create characters, how many brads to use… But this is a book that will tell you how to write. How to hone your craft and develop your own voice. And that makes it both unique and a must for any aspiring (or existing) screenwriter’s library. Heisserer lays out a regimen of writing tasks that will make you a better writer. Pick and choose; it’s a buffet. And you’re sure to leave the table well nourished!

Solid sensible approach to real screenwriting craft.

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 9, 2013
By cam
The “secret” to being a better screenwriter is to become a better writer. But it’s tricky to spin that into a bestselling book. So we have shelves and shelves of books postulating various theories about screenplays and films and writing and the creative process and personal anecdotes. The condensation is generally a very basic foundation. Valuable but not terribly practical.

Super Awesome – Worth the Price

One person found this helpful.
 on October 11, 2014
By Marvin T.
Really fun screenwriting book! Many interesting writing prompts. One of the most useful books on screenwriting that I’ve read. Worth the $5, for sure. One thing that sets this book apart from other screenwriting books is that this book actually is having you do work to improve your writing. Most books on craft have good advice but there’s usually no help in really applying the ideas.So, if you want to get better, this book is for you!

Absolutely recommend!

 on April 10, 2017
By Fish Estrella
I found this to be beyond helpful. A handful of these are prompts or challenges you can find on a writing tumblr blog but there are some real helpful gems in this. Absolutely recommend to any budding screenwriter.


 on December 3, 2016
By Mark
It gave me immediate satisfaction (results) and is applicable to all types of writing and creative development. If I had a physical copy it would live folded in the pocket of my favorite jeans, warm and weathered.


3 people found this helpful.
 on December 6, 2013
By Alan
Inspiring and enlightening. Makes hard work fun! This guy really knows how to get your creative juices flowing. The best of this type of book I’ve read by a long shot/. Excellent!

This a course in book form, based on the …

 on November 18, 2016
By Amazon Customer
This a course in book form, based on the insight and experience of a produced screenwriter, and as such is invaluable for both novice and veteran writers.

Writers Block? NOT

 on September 15, 2017
By Ron Johnston
Great tips and helpful challenges. With this, you’ll never have writers block ever again.

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