The Screenwriting Formula: Why It Works and How To Use It

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Make the Hollywood Formula Work for You

As a screenwriter, you have a difficult task even after the script is complete: You have to break into Hollywood. Rob Tobin, who has read thousands of screenplays in his job as a script reader and development executive, has developed the formula to get a script from page to production – and he's sharing it with you!

The Screenwriting Formula is not just about how to write a killer screenplay – it also explains the structure that movie executives are looking for, as well as how to transform an idea into a fully-loaded script, packed with action and ready to go. You'll learn how to:Use the seven basic story elements to instantly grab an audience's attention and, more importantly, keep itDevelop character and plot in new ways through creating a backstory and telling both the objective and subjective story Structure your script so that it gets noticed by movie makersCraft a winning logline that will ensure a good pitchPlus, to help illustrate the formula, Tobin develops a story from beginning to end, showing you step-by-step how to make the most of this exclusive trade secret.

With The Screenwriting Formula, you have everything you need to take you from idea to the big screen.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books; 2nd edition (September 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582974624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974620
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

recommend for writers…

 on December 2, 2013
By Joseph
This book is GREAT at explaining the character flaw-something most inexperienced writers have no idea of working into their stories which usually fall flat because of it. People think if you come up with an engaging physical plot there’s no need for an inner one, yet they fail to realize the physical plot is SECONDARY to the inner plot that transforms the Main Character.

Five Stars

 on May 15, 2017
By guitaro
Read it. Live it.

INtro to New Genre

 on May 2, 2016
By Marge Dooley
Gives great formula for novice to the field.

Excellent book that I would highly recommend

 on March 11, 2014
By Denise Boulet
I find it easy to read and understand and can put some of the suggestions to use in my screenwriting attempts. A very good book! I would recommend it to others,

Comprehensive, practical, and essential reading

13 people found this helpful.
 on January 6, 2008
By Midwest Book Review
When it comes to creating scripts for films and television, professional scriptwriter Rob Tobin’s maxim is that ‘writing well isn’t just a goal, it’s a responsibility’. That attitude comes across loud and clear in “The Screenwriting Formula: Why It Works And How To Use It”, his deftly written and thoroughly ‘user friendly’ instruction guide for aspiring screenwriters regardless of the genre they are working in. “The Screenwriting Formula” is nicely organized into three main sections: The Seven Elements (the hero, the flow, enabling circumstances, the opponent, the hero’s ally, the life-changing event, jeopardy, combining story elements); The Structure (prologue, act one, act two: parts one and two, act three); The Big Picture (the logline, the outline, high-concept and low-concept stories, a titanic undertaking). Enhanced with the inclusion of two germane appendices (Prewriting Techniques and Adapting Novels to the Screen), “The Screenwriting Formula” is comprehensive, practical, and essential reading for anyone hoping to successful write a screenplay that will measure up to professional standards and commercial viability.

Excellent, Inspiring Tutorial… Until the End.

8 people found this helpful.
 on February 1, 2008
By Emily Macdonald
This book gave me great, unbridled hope as an aspiring writer! I finally came to the realization that I’m infinitely more suited to screen-writing than novel-writing. Mr. Tobin’s book gives the reader exactly the information he/she needs to write a well-crafted, financially- and prestigiously- viable screenplay. I was completely sold…until the last 7/8ths of the book.

The Screenwriting Formula: Why It Works and How to Use It

3 people found this helpful.
 on April 9, 2008
By Richard T. Najor
If you would like to write a script, this is the book I recommended. I have a lot of self-help screenplay books on my bookshelves. There are few self-help books are worth to keep. Most of them I wasn’t really happy with and felt it was wasted of money. Sometime last year, I read somewhere about Rob Tobin, I took a chance to purchase it. Not a day I regret buying this book and worth the money. Everything he wrote in his book, it makes perfect sense. Since he already read over 5,000 scripts in film industry. He’s clearly a very good teacher. He had experienced to teach us with information.

Brilliant resource for writers

11 people found this helpful.
 on March 30, 2008
By TV Writer
I’m an Emmy-winning TV writer who’s read hundreds of books about screenwriting and story. Rob Tobin’s is simply the best I’ve ever seen. It’s straightforward without being simplistic, and it relates the various elements of story in a way I’ve never seen before. For example, a lot of books will tell you that the hero has to have a goal and a flaw, but Tobin shows how the two elements have to interact to get a satisfying story. This book should be on every screenwriter’s shelf.

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