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The Screenwriter's Workbook (A Dell trade paperback) [Paperback]

Syd Field
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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The Screenwriter's Workbook: Exercises and Step-by-step Instructions for Creating a Successful Screenplay The Screenwriter's Workbook: Exercises and Step-by-step Instructions for Creating a Successful Screenplay 4.2 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

Dec 1987 A Dell trade paperback
Here is your very own hands-on workshop--the book that allows ou to participate in the processes that have made Syd Fields workshops invaluable to beginners and working professionals alike.

Product details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (Dec 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440582253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440582250
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE BIBLE OF THE FILM INDUSTRY 2 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Thee are some serious distinctions to be made about books on screenwriting. Some of them are very good, very theoretical, very serious works. Some of them are throw-away one time reads.
A very few of them are "working" books, books that you will never throw away - books that you will use as reference. And even fewer still are books that you will use over and over again - books that will inspire you everytime you pick them up. Syd Field's "The Screenwriter's Workbook" is one of those rare books. It is the "Bible" of the film industry.
All of Field's books are excellent for this reason - they not only tell you how to write screenplays - they tell you why screenplays are structured in a unique way.
It is understanding structure that is the key to writing movies. All the ideas about character development, the representation of myth, and the history of cinema are necessary to writing good screenplays. But only one thing is really essential and that is a clear understanding of a form that appears simple but is actually very complex.
I still have many of the screenwriting books I have read over the years but Field's books are the only ones I actually USE.I know many other screenwriters, professionals all, who would say the same thing.
Fashion in screenplay writing and thinking about movies comes and goes - and every new writer thinks they have to either read the latest theory or re-invent the wheel - but when you actually write you only want a book that YOU CAN USE. Syd Field never goes out of style because he writes from a serious understanding of the relationship of structure to screenwriting - and it's this relationship that you constantly return to in order to make the writing work.
Buy this book and keep it. You will need it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is the book I've been looking for. Story, by McKee, is so filled with intellecutal nonsense that I was so confused after reading it; I didn't know where to start. Intellectual BS! At least, Field points you in the direction and guides you through every step of the process. And, his Problem Solver is great.A great companion to any writer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I had been struggling to write a screenplay for a long time when a friend recommended Syd's book. I was totally blown away. The tools needed for actually writing a script were presented in clear and lucid language, without telling you how you should do something. Chapter by chapter takes you one step more into the creative innards of screenwriting. If I had four hands, I'd give this book eight thumbs up. It's now my constant companion. Since that time, I've finished the screenplay I'd been struggling so hard with. Thanks, Syd -- keep 'em coming.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to write a screenplay GET THIS BOOK! 16 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This is the kind of book I've been searching the shelves for. I'm a produced playwright trying to make the transition to writing screenplays, and I spent years trying to figure what to do and how to do it. When I read this book I suddenly understood what I to do. It was amazing. Though it needs to be updated, the principles presented are clear and concise. IT'S A MUST READ for anybody writing a contemporary screenplay.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book inspired me... 14 Mar 2003
By ADonald
This was the first 'how to write screenplays' book I've ever bought, and it has encouraged me to pursue writing screenplays further. I was however a little disappointed to discover the book was last published in 1984,19 years ago, and I'm sure screenwriting has changed a lot since then. Also, there's nothing on how to layout/format your script in Word, and how to use abbreviations and all the other scripting conventions correctly. He talks about using double spacing, but all the scripts I've read don't adhere to this, which is confusing. This book needs a re-write to bring it up to date. For example, he talks about writing on a series of 3x5 cards, cutting and pasting (not using a computer), and I think once mentions the use of a word processor, which of course weren't really around then. Some of the chapters are too theoretical and lack practicality, for example chapter 2 on Structure. He tries to define what it is almost from a philosophical angle rather than through practical concrete example. What does it mean to have a 'tight' script, when does a passage 'work', and when does it not, and what does he mean when he says a script is 'sharp'? These quantities need explaining through example. Putting these chapters aside, Field is inspirational and generally structured in his approach. I found his paradigm tool particularly useful, which essentially broke the making of a script down into manageable chunks. A good first read on the subject, but not really comprehensive in its coverage.
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