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Screenwriting For Dummies [Paperback]

John Logan , Laura Schellhardt
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Screenwriting For Dummies Screenwriting For Dummies 4.6 out of 5 stars (10)
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Book Description

14 Feb 2003 For Dummies
Includes all the essentials for writing a screenplay, from crafting dialogue to marketing a script
Packed with easy–to–understand guidelines and writing projects, Screenwriting For Dummies makes film writing accessible to novices and helps more experienced writers improve their scripts. This engaging guide walks readers through the essential elements of every good screenplay, from character development, to creating a story, to writing compelling dialogue, to adopting a screenplay from a different source. It also includes all the specific formatting details that go into writing a visual screenplay from scripting character introductions, to writing the camera into the script, to creating a cinematic collage. In addition, Screenwriting For Dummies covers the important task of selling a screenplay, including tips for getting a spec script into the proper marketing format, protecting intellectual property rights, and securing an agent.

Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (14 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554865
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 18.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


“A guide for absolute beginners, it will take you through the whole process”. Writers Forum June 2008

“A guide for absolute beginners, it will take you through the whole process”.Writers Forum June 2008

From the Back Cover

"Valuable advice. . . . Presents any number of provocative and clever ways to understand the screenwriting process."
—John Logan, coscreenwriter of Gladiator

Packed with fun and helpful writing projects

Find your voice, craft your story, and sell your screenplay

So you want to write for pictures? This friendly guide walks you through the essential elements of a good screenplay, from crafting the plot to character development to writing compelling dialogue. You’ll discover how to write for different genres, think visually, format your screenplay, and get your script noticed by the right players in show biz.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear–out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says on the label! 5 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At last a readable book on screenwriting, albeit aimed at the American market. Lots of goods things in it - mine now includes loads of postitnotes to guide me back to the bits I need most. Like most of the '...for dummies' books, it cuts through the jargon. Thanks for the inspiration to continue writing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars useful reference 1 July 2011
Useful but not essentail reference. Wont make you a better writer but will allow you to waste less time. Probably of most use if read in conjunction with How Not to Write a Screenplay by Denny Martin Flinn.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schellhardt provides clear analysis of structure 20 Feb 2004
By Lily Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Screenwriting for Dummies provides comprehensive information about how to construct a screenplay, from concept to pitch, but its most valuable aspect is Schellhardt's coverage of film structure. She shows the bones of a good screenplay in a manner that doesn't seem so much formulaic as archetypal: a movie starts with its status quo, hits an inciting incident; its protagonist forms a plan of action at plot point one, hits the high or low of his story at the midpoint, renews his efforts at plot point two, and earns his reward, or tragedy, in the conclusion. Schellhardt clued me in to the pattern, and now, when I sense a movie petering out or losing its focus, I have a notion why it happened.
Schellhardt also covers outline writing in detail and takes a couple of pages to discuss the purpose and interleaving of subplot, as well as the usual stuff about formatting and marketing. This has not only become my favorite book on screenwriting, but has proven useful in my evolving understanding of plot in fiction.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start but not the only resource 30 Aug 2008
By E. S. - Published on Amazon.com
I have never written a script before so the "For Dummies" title, I thought, applied to me. However, as much as the book offers a lot on formulating a story, I was looking more for actual tips on structure and acceptable formatting of the physical script. There is very little of that in this book. The majority of the book deals with how to come up with a character, conflict, plot and all the other components of a story (something that I already have). If you are in the same boat as me, I suggest Christopher Keane's book, How to Write a Selling Screenplay.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thorough 5 Jan 2004
By N. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Laura Schellhardt, author of the book, spells it all out. I am always daunted when I set out to write a screenplay, but this book allowed me to break down that process into managable tasks. This book covers it all from the pre-writing phases of research, character development, outlines and plot structure to the writing phase of screenplay format, scene development and overall layout and ends with suggestions on how to further develop and revise your work when it is finished and eventually sell it. I recommend this book to anyone, as it covers topics that will make any screenwriter's work (whether beginner or pro) fuller and richer and the process all the more simpler.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book. too much information in one book. 1 Jun 2006
By Parham A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought it 1 month ago and I haven't finished it yet. it's more of a reference book. I refer to it quite a bit. her writing has flow and easy to understand. I personally don't like "dummies" series but this one is good.

I wish she had a CD with it for search and indexing. this book has lots of information, I orginally planned to finish it in a week and I am still reading it.

I haven't bought it for actually writing a script but for a project I am working on.

probably the best I've seen so for.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great resource! 12 Jan 2006
By Ophelia - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a great resource for anybody who's ever wanted to write in film. It gives you a great method for writing with a structure, good examples, and information on how to get your script looked at. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that it gives a lot of outside links to publishing newspapers and Hollywood industry insider reports online and there were two table of contents instead of one, that was a little confusing when I was referring back to it, later.
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