Screenwriting Tips, You Hack

Screenwriting Tips, You Hack

150 Practical Pointers for Becoming A Better Screenwriter

Book - 2012
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Screenwriting Tip #99
Voice-over usually feels like scaffolding. You know-something you left in there when you were constructing the first draft, but really should have torn out after it served its purpose.

Screenwriting Tip #120
Always remember that funny trumps everything. Your script could be written in crayon with your name spelled wrong on the cover, but if it's genuinely funny, none of that matters.

Screenwriting Tip #156
The easiest way to write kick-ass protagonists is to make them incredibly good at what they do.

Confused at the outline stage? Stuck in the swamp of Act Two? Don't know who your protagonist is or where she's going?

You might feel like a hack. But don't worry-you're not alone. Even the most experienced writers feel like this at times. Sometimes we just need a few short pointers and reminders to set us on the path again.

Xander Bennett worked as a script reader in the trenches of Hollywood, reading and covering hundreds of mediocre screenplays. After months of reading about heroic Sea World trainers, transgendered circus detectives and crime-fighting chupacabras, he couldn't take it any more. Xander started a blog called 'Screenwriting Tips, You Hack', a place designed to provide short, witty tips on screenwriting for amateur writers all the way up to journeymen scribes.

This book is the evolution of that blog. Dozens of the best scripts (along with many brand-new ones) have been expanded into bite-sized chapters full of funny, insightful, highly usable advice. Let Xander's pain be your gain as you learn about the differences between film and television structure, how to force yourself to write when you really don't want to, and why you probably shouldn't base your first spec script around an alien invasion.

Publisher: Boston : Focal Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9780240818245
Branch Call Number: 808.23 BENNE
Characteristics: xiv, 210 p.


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Feb 18, 2015

I have at least six books on screenwriting at home, but I would consider adding this one to the shelf. The advice is brief and to the point, and it comes from an impeccable source - the very person who would be reading your screenplay when it gets submitted. There isn't any mystical discussion of archetypes and hero's journey, or the mythos of the character development through history, just a good helping of what makes a good script, and what script readers in Hollywood (and elsewhere) are looking for.
If you didn't want to write a script when you started reading, you will do by the time you put this book down.

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