The Bare Bones Book of Screenwriting: The Definitive Beginner’s Guide to Story, Format, and Business

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The Bare Bones Book of Screenwriting is one of the most authoritative, popular and useful books on screenwriting, written by a USC Cinema-Television alumni with several sold, optioned, produced and award winning screenplays. Using a 'let's-get-down-to-brass-tacks' approach it focuses on the essentials of screenwriting: creative, technical and business principles. For teens, college students and beginners of all ages, this easy to understand filmmaking resource provides screenplay tools to help with feature film writing, short screenplays and TV scripts: script formatting, screenplay outlines, contest and competitions, writing the synopsis, treaments, story development, the hero's journey, three act structure, book adaptations, character, dialogue, structure, plot, mechanics, comedy writing, selling a screenplay, screenwriting agents and managers, working with producers, directors and more. Referred to in the industry as "the bootcamp for screenwriters" this is one tool any aspiring screenwriter needs in their toolbelt.

An "all in one" guide to writing screenplays that sell for beginners and intermediate writers. Film school is expensive, and won't give you real world experience. The lessons will teach you the correct format and storytelling rules, tricks and mistakes to avoid when writing your screenplay. Any film or TV writer can benefit as it walks the reader through creating a professional industry standard Hollywood screenplay to attract agents and filmmakers. Students, non WGA and WGA members use this for help during outlining and writing screenplays.

Film school or college can only teach an aspiring film writer so much. This screenwriter's "bible" offers trade secrets and education only found by working as a professional screenwriter.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Written By Clark, Publishing (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979510201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979510205
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

Teaches you to build a career, not win the lottery

11 people found this helpful.
 on July 21, 2008
By Jim Kelly
The bare Bones Book of Screenwriting is the perfect starting point. It’s written in a friendly, knowledgable and razor-sharp witty voice. I liked how it has 3 simple chapters, story, format and business. I felt like i got some real insight into the reality of screenwriting for beginners. The author doesn’t tell you how to write a script and sell it for a million dollars. Instead he teaches you how to start thinking of screenwriting step by step… by building essential story skills, technical conventions, starting small by building credits, contacts and gaining ground in the industry. Every other book I’ve read wants you to believe you can win the lottery.

You get what you pay for

6 people found this helpful.
 on June 28, 2013
By Da Cheese
This book is a great introductory book to screenwriting that keeps information short and to the point. It doesn’t offer anything new or revolutionary but rather gives a writer an overview of whats expected without blasting you with too much information. After reading this book, one should look at Mckee’s Story for further explanation on what a script should have, Dramatic Writer’s Companion by Dunne on how to actually build the story, character, plot, and Plotto by Cook for masterplots and ideas for your film. In my opinion these are the best four books that offer everything you need for screenwriting.

Bare Bones Recommended

7 people found this helpful.
 on April 30, 2008
By Michael
The few dollars to buy this book is definitely worth it. It’s an incredibly valuable tool which I reference from time to time being heavily involved in my own business that focuses on development.

Bare bones excellence

One person found this helpful.
 on December 19, 2013
By Cecil Murphey
Really liked the bare-bones touch. No extra pages or useless information to sift through. I had a number of questions, and Clark answered them in such a way that I could also mark them for easy reference.

A good place to start

5 people found this helpful.
 on October 26, 2009
By Sutherland
Personally, I have had a lot of bad experiences reading screenwriting books. There are a few goods ones out there, and this is one of them. It sneaks up and bites you in a short, snappy and honest 100 pages. Two thumbs up! Every writer thinking about becoming a screenwriter needs to read this book.

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