The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer’s Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay

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In The Tools of Screenwriting, David Howard and Edward Mabley illuminate the essential elements of cinematic storytelling, and reveal the central principles that all good screenplays share. The authors address questions of dramatic structure, plot, dialogue, character development, setting, imagery, and other crucial topics as they apply to the special art of filmmaking.

Howard and Mabley also demonstrate how, on a practical level, the tools of screenwriting work in sixteen notable films, including Citizen Cane, E.T., One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Rashomon, The Godfather, North by Northwest, Chinatown, and sex, lies, and videotape.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; Reprint edition (January 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312119089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312119089
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

Customer Reviews

Indiana Jones Tools for Filmscript Writing

One person found this helpful.
 on October 5, 2012
By Nancy Drew
A how to book that reads like one is on a wonderful adventure of discovery. Kirk Iverson of Globalcraft Studios recommended the book to me so tally ho off I went to Amazon for some more mind candy. This author writes well.

Five Stars

 on December 6, 2017
By Taylor
Pretty decent screenwriting book.

Five Stars

One person found this helpful.
 on August 7, 2016
By Benjamin A. Clarkson
Excellent butter. Excellent bread. Excellent sandwich.

Five Stars

 on October 3, 2017
By Angela

NEWBIE SCREENWRITER’s…. get this book and READ IT BEFORE you write your screenplay… you’ll be glad you did

One person found this helpful.
 on September 11, 2014
By Nicholas in Seattle
I have gazed into this book, and in simply gazing, I realized there is a LOT MORE TO SCREENWRITING than I had imagined. In fact… as I wrote my first screenplay, it did not take long at all to feel like I was WAY IN over my head. Talk about RE-WRITES GALORE!!!

Five Stars

One person found this helpful.
 on June 6, 2015
By Brian J. Vicker
Wonderful purchase

Five Stars

One person found this helpful.
 on November 16, 2014
By Cassandra Mills
Great for a beginner.

Comprehensive and Practical

15 people found this helpful.
 on September 29, 2004
By Ars Gratia Artis
I think this book stands out from others in the heap of books on screenwriting in at least two salient aspects.

One of the top 3 screenwriting books!

4 people found this helpful.
 on January 2, 2012
By C. Nuttree
Howards later “How to Build a Great Screenplay” is the very best single book if you want to master screenwriting, but this is a great book, and I consider it a “must have.” Better than any seminar or course, and I’ve spent thousands on most of them over the years, including a couple years at AFI.

UCLA books

One person found this helpful.
 on August 25, 2015
By Gregory Lawrence Stewart
Great fast very good condition excellent book.

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