Screenwriting Tricks For Authors (and Screenwriters!)

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Are you finally committed to writing that novel but have no idea how to get started? Or are you a published author – but know you need some plotting help to move your books and career up to that next level?

Screenwriting is a compressed and dynamic storytelling form and the techniques of screenwriting are easily adaptable to novel writing. You can jump-start your plot and bring your characters and scenes vibrantly alive on the page – by watching your favorite movies and learning from the storytelling tricks of great filmmakers.

With this workbook, based on award-winning author/ screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff’s internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks For Authors blog and workshops, you'll learn how to use techniques of film writing such as:

– the High Concept Premise
– the Three-Act, Eight-Sequence Structure
– the Storyboard Grid
– the Index Card Method of Plotting

– as well as tricks of film pacing and suspense, character arc and drive, visual storytelling, and building image systems – to structure and color your novel for maximum emotional impact, unbearable suspense and riveting pacing, no matter what genre you're writing in.

You'll create your own personalized workbook of genre tricks based on your favorite books and movies and tailored to your own brand of storytelling, and a collage book to build visual image systems. And the emphasis on premise is invaluable for crafting that all-important query and pitch.

In this rapidly changing world of publishing, more and more agents and editors are looking for novels that have the pacing, emotional excitement, and big, unique, "high concept" premises of Hollywood movies (and the potential for that movie or TV sale!).

Whether you're just starting to develop a book or script, or rewriting for maximum impact, this workbook will guide you through an easy, effective and fun process to help you make your book or script the best it can be.

Includes detailed film breakdowns and analysis as well as chapters and resources on how to get a literary agent, writing a query letter, professional networking, and screenwriting contests.

"Sokoloff's advice is spot-on, and her teaching style is direct and effective. A must-have book for authors and screenwriters."
– JA Konrath, A Newbie's Guide To Publishing

Product Details

  • File Size: 919 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2010
  • Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0032JSJ9U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Save your money–Buy this book!

46 people found this helpful.
 on November 7, 2010
By H. L. ARLEDGE
I think it was Blake Snyder in his book, Save the Cat, that said writers will do anything to keep from working–from writing–the single activity they love most in the world. He was right, of course, and one of the things writers do to procrastinate is buy books on writing. This is the perfect outlet, as the primary reason we don’t want to write is because the editor in our heads keeps telling us we’re just not good enough.

Good focused message for a novelist and writer.

4 people found this helpful.
 on December 2, 2014
By Louis C Kirby
I have written and published my first novel, and I am in the middle of writing my second novel. On a recommendation from a friend who is also a novelist I picked up Mrs. Socoloff’s book. It gave me some insights into plot structure that were essential at this particular phase of writing my current novel. It is like having a script editor look over your shoulder as you are writing and tell you that you need to have a climax here, and build your team at this phase and so forth. If you follow her rules to the letter it can come off a bit too formulaic, and she acknowledges this. The point as I take it from her book, is that if you were telling a story, and not following the guidelines here, you run the risk of violating expectations of the reader. The story structure had been used for thousands of years. What Sokoloff has done is give you the basic formula and structure, and it is up to the writer to take that into his or her imagination and turn it into a story that captivates the reader and take them places they never have been before. I would recommend it.

This is Brilliant: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors I

 on June 15, 2017
By Deb Gallardo
I’d forgotten, in the months since buying this and Sokoloff’s other two writing books, that there are THREE of these volumes, and this one is the FIRST! Be sure to also get “Screenwriting Tricks for Authors (and Screenwriters!): STEALING HOLLYWOOD: Story Structure Secrets for Writing Your BEST Book” and “Writing Love: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors II: Story Structure for Pantsers and Plotters.” Sokoloff knows her ‘stuff.’ (That’s the technical term.)

I like the voice of her non-fiction so much that I …

2 people found this helpful.
 on July 24, 2015
By Laura Stephens
More than a “by the numbers” how-to, this book has been a real eye opener for me as a writer and as a movie goer. I don’t think I can ever see another movie or read another book without analyzing it through the screenwriter’s lens. The conversational style and copious examples from a variety of genres makes this guide supremely accessible. I’ve already bought Sokoloff’s book _Writing Love_ and will be buying the latest one too (released earlier this month). Matter of fact, I like the voice of her non-fiction so much that I am going to give her fiction a try as well. For those who are picky about typos, yes, there are a couple, but they do not detract from the work or the great lessons to be had. Very solid 5 stars.

Alexandra Rocks!

2 people found this helpful.
 on July 2, 2015
By Miki Marshall
Next to Kenneth Atchity’s A Writer’s Time, this book has become my favorite applied writers resource. Every aspect involved in the crafting of a novel or screenplay is so comprehensively and concisely laid out into easily digestible morsels that it will be hard not to succeed with what I now know about what works in the industry. And it’s presented with such a lovely sense of humor, it’s hard not to fall in love with the author, as well.

Fabulous Writers Tool

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 11, 2015
By Jenna Gonzalez
This is amazing. Easy to follow checklist system with details on how to get the end results. This is a lot of information but in order to truly reach your goal you must invest your time and this book is worth it. She makes this easy to follow through the structure of a story with a wide variety of examples. Must have if you plan to be a writer or are serious about becoming a published writer. This is a must have tool and your next step.

Plan to buy a 2nd copy

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 1, 2012
By B2
Very helpful book. It pinpoints vocabulary and concepts which many other craft books mention but fail to drill down far enough to be completely useful. The examples and story analysis in Screenwriting Tricks for Authors are concrete step-by-step guides. There are typos and uneven spots in the Kindle version of the book, but it appears that is because the information was first designed as blog posts. The low price and quality of instruction make up for these few flaws. Absolutely worth owning, and, in fact, I plan to buy another copy just because I prefer my reference books in print.

All the advice you will ever need to write a novel or a screenplay.

One person found this helpful.
 on March 4, 2016
By Joe Thornton
I have been a fan of Alexandra for a few years now. About five years ago I was struggling to write my first full length screenplay and discovered her website. I couldn’t have finished without all the great advice that she had packed into that site. When I heard she was releasing it as a book I downloaded the Kindle copy. Then she updated it late last year and I immediately ordered the hardcopy. She is one of my five top writing go to guru’s when I get stuck.

Super Helpful.

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 22, 2013
By Almac
With my mind all twisted around various plot holes and my subplots coming apart at the seams, this book was like a conditioner with extra untangle. “Do the work.” Know what stories and characters drive you and why. Alex shows how to do the work in analysing your favourite tales and how to apply that stuff to your story. I have read my share of Joseph Campbell so this book made complete sense to me. Writing novels is hard, holding all the details of your story in your head is hard, the movie form condenses the structure and helps you hit those highs, lows and turning points. My novel is better because of this book. Thank you Alex.

The one book on nuts and bolts you need!

One person found this helpful.
 on December 12, 2010
By CharacterGirl
I had the great good fortune to participate in a class by Alexandra Sokoloff during which she used the methods outlined in this book. Whether you’re a “panster” or an “outliner” this book will give you what you need to ensure your structure is tight, your character arcs clear and your edits worthwhile. Sokoloff gives you the nuts and bolts to the 3-act structure, inner and outer motivations, central conflicts, etc in such a way that makes it easy to apply to your own work, regardless of its length. The methods presented are clear, with great examples, and can be used at any time in the writing process.

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