Before I can properly apply the book (which is textbook format, though a lot more interesting and fun than normal textbooks) here's a little background. I'm a lifelong writer, just now getting serious about publication, with an abiding passion for film (particularly animation) and video games. While I'm not bad on the designing end of the spectrum, writing is definitely my stronger suit. I researched screenwriting and animation writing in my teens, but, figuring I'd learn all this in film school (all of which accepted me, none of which helped me pay) I never took it seriously.
Fast-forward a few years. I'm still in love with writing; it's still a creative pursuit at which I excel (assuming I work very hard and polish each piece); I still love film, but that expensive hobby understandably got pushed onto a back burner. A few weeks ago, I began to wonder seriously, not idly as I've done for years, about what I could do to write for animation and games. Coincidentally, I stumbled across this book.
"Write Your Way into Animation and Games" is a fabulous resource for beginners, and even intermediates depending on what you're looking for. I was frustrated by the first chapters, which cover screenwriting basics and how to craft a simple story. I read them anyway (in case skipping would cause me to miss something). And I have to say, the advice is clear, concise, brief, thorough, and necessary. It was material I'm highly familiar with, but once I banished the "been through this before" conceit, the refresher did very well for me. I'd urge anyone not actually working in animation (not that you'd be picking up this book if you were) to please go over it. It's a little irritating at times, but the information is still valuable.
After the basics, it delves progressively deeper in terms of technique and resources. The information on animation writing, from script format to page count to dialogue and action balance, was fantastic. Without setting out any unbreakable rules, it gives a very clear idea of expectations and guidelines, which is much, much more helpful that something along the lines of "you always have to do this exactly this way."
My only disappointment--and it was fairly minor--was a relative lack of gaming resources. Writing for games and for animation is obviously very similar, but I was more interested in games than in animation at this point. I wish it had been more balances, or even biased in favor of game-writing. That said, given the amount of information and resources in this book, that really was a minor disappointment.
"Write Your Way into Animation and Games" is set up like a textbook. At very rare times, it reads like a textbook, but it's still a lot more interesting than most of the textbooks I have/am dealing with now. If the format would, for some reason, put you off, don't worry about it. This isn't dry reading. The writing is professional but vibrant, and bursting with examples (which I definitely need.) I can't promise this will be a perfect read for any beginner. But, overall, this was a really great guide for me, and I know I'll be using it in the future.