Elements of Screenwriting: A Guide for Film and Television Writing

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In the tradition of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, this screenwriter's guide covers writing specific to the film and television industry as well as general writing advice – truly an "Essential Guide" for the screenwriting process.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; Reissue edition (December 11, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 002861450X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028614502
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

Good primer on screenwriting without all the fluff

One person found this helpful.
 on September 1, 2014
By Tim Daiss
The Elements of Screenwriting is a quick read at only 102 pages, not counting the appendix. However, its nuts and bolts treatment gives clarity where many longer screenwriting books bog down and are long winded, even confusing for the beginner. This is the fourth book I’ve read so far on screenwriting and I think it should be the first any aspiring screenwriter should begin with. Then, after understanding the basics as discussed in The Elements of Screenwriting, other longer, weightier tomes can add insight and propel you further along the road to writing screen plays.

Still the best.

7 people found this helpful.
 on March 16, 2011
By David Sheppard
This unassuming, no-non-sense little book is one of the best, if not the best, ever written on screenwriting. The book is divided into two parts. The first concerns basic storytelling and is appropriate for any genre: fiction, narrative non-fiction, screenplays, etc. These initial chapters discuss conflict, structure, character, exposition, and dialogue. The second half is primarily devoted to the mechanics of putting a screenplay together. It addresses the look of a professional script and production considerations. The last chapter concerns the business aspects of screenwriting. The book was originally published in 1986, so this 1996 re-publication is simply a photocopy of the original with a new cover. But don’t let the publication date fool you into thinking the material is outdated, even though the material may well show its age. Still, this is the place to start to build the basic skills for screenwriting. Many established screenwriters would do well to heed Irwin Blacker’s sage advice.

Valuable screenwriting reference book!

 on December 20, 2016
By Kindle Customer
Superb lesser known tome that every scribe or storyteller should read. Happy writing~*

Must read for aspiring storytellers.

 on October 22, 2016
By R. Walker
Great book by a too often forgotten expert.

An excellent guide for writers.

27 people found this helpful.
 on August 30, 1999
By Blair K. Ivey
Although the title would seem to aim this book at a specialized market, this is in fact an excellent guide for writers in all markets. The theme of the book is that a well-written story will be much easier to sell than a poorly written one. The majority of the book is devoted to guidelines for plot and character development in the context of the specialized requirements of film and television. Many of the directions in the book are applicable to writing aimed at a wide variety of markets. There are several useful examples of actual scripts and other industry-specific forms that serve as bluprints for the aspiring film and television writer. There are also examples of synopsis and treatments as they are used in the industry. The second half of the book is devoted to the mechanics of the visual entertainment industry and how the script and writer fit in. The appendices deal with the Writers Guild and include an agency list. This book is a must-have for the aspiring film and television writer.

Short, sharp, and insightful.

4 people found this helpful.
 on April 16, 2008
By Stephen A. Brewer
One of the easiest to read, and accessibly informative books on writing that any person interested in either film, or writing generally could get their hands on.

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