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The 21st-Century Screenplay: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Tomorrow's Films Paperback – 1 Jan 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Silman-James Press (1 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935247034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935247036
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A brilliant book. Linda Aronson is one of the great and important voices on screenwriting.' ----- Dr Linda Seger, author of Making a Good Script Great

'A very wonderful book. I love the strategies for plumbing the unconscious story mind. There's no other book that gives such an in-depth analysis of the bone structure for all these various kinds of narratives.' ----Robin Swicord, Little Women, The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha

'It's a huge achievement, an incredibly comprehensive analysis of what the screenwriter does, of what can go right and what can go wrong and how to fix it when it does. I highly recommend it.' --Andrew Bovell, Lantana, Blessed, Edge of Darkness

'A very wonderful book. I love the strategies for plumbing the unconscious story mind. There's no other book that gives such an in-depth analysis of the bone structure for all these various kinds of narratives.' ----Robin Swicord, Little Women, The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha

'It's a huge achievement, an incredibly comprehensive analysis of what the screenwriter does, of what can go right and what can go wrong and how to fix it when it does. I highly recommend it.' --Andrew Bovell, Lantana, Blessed, Edge of Darkness --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'A brilliant book. Linda Aronson is one of the great and important voices on screenwriting.' - Dr Linda Seger, author of Making a Good Script Great

'A very wonderful book. I love the strategies for plumbing the unconscious story mind. There's no other book that gives such an in-depth analysis of the "bone structure" for all these various kinds of narratives.' - Robin Swicord, Little Women, The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha

'It's a huge achievement, an incredibly comprehensive analysis of what the screenwriter does, of what can go right and what can go wrong and how to fix it when it does. I highly recommend it.' Andrew Bovell, Lantana, Blessed, Edge of Darkness --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a huge help in that Linda Aronson really does pull together wide-ranging structures and show how they are related, and how they differ. Her analysis of films with complex structures is quite fascinating. And although she focuses on structure, her approach can also provide some unlocking of character through action. (Rather than action through character with is where many writers start. Not that that isn't a fine approach. Just that there is more than one way to skin a cat).

As a subsidiary plus, this book is a great clearinghouse of a lot of other screenplay gurus' advice. Linda Aronson references these works, which is a great help in seeking out information to help guide anyone looking for instruction in this area.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for insight into screenplay structure. I am actually rereading parts of it, it is so good!
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There are some great ideas and insights buried in this overlong, rambling tome, e.g. that in some successful stories the biggest character is ‘mentor antagonist’ to a paler ‘protagonist’, and that there are successful alternatives to the standard single protagonist 3-act structure that can be analysed and used as templates. Where the book falls down is in trying, unsuccessfully, to be a practical writing guide. Without all the ‘development strategy’ repetition and padding it could have been a wonderful little ideas book. Great plums, but far, far too much pudding. Her occasional references to novel writing were oddly naive: she seems to think none of the storytelling rules apply in novels. Oh they do, they do, which is why this novelist reads screenwriting books about storytelling.
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Format: Paperback
Finally, a new paradigm! Screenwriting in the new millennium

I have read and own many screenwriting books, and all of them have some real value to them. But for some time, I have been looking for something that addresses the sophistication of audiences now. Sure the old models still work, but I was looking for help in telling stories in new ways. And this book Is the new paradigm.

Like Syd Field, McKee, Vogler and Blake Snyder, Linda has produced a revolutionary book that is of its day. . It's a hefty tome, but don't be put off by that as its an easy read too.

Revolutionary, empowering, sophisticated and inspiring.
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I am a professional screenwriter and in my career I went through many books concerning the craft of storytelling. This is unique in its genre: all the classic books (Syd Field, Chris Vogler, Linda Seger, Robert MacKee, Dara Marks, John Truby) are based on the traditional structure (3 acts model or a single protagonist who embarks on an emotional/physical journey and undertakes a change). This is incorporates those books in the first part, being a useful recap of the basics. But he moves on: for what I know this is the only book that deals systematically with the new forms of storytelling like non-linear and multi-protagonist stories. He doesn't restrict the field of investigation to the classic movies but takes the theory on the next level and analyses in a clever way movies such as Memento, Pulp Fiction, American Beauty, 21 Grams and Amores Perros (where the reference films of the others movies were still "The QUeen of Africa" or "Tootsie". This book keeps the promises which is stated in the title: it is indeed a comprehensive guide to the 21st century screenplay. It's so wonderful cause it's not a prescriptive book which lists a series of dos and donts: it has a really open and fresh approach and helps you to understand better which form suits better your story. Moreover it contains a useful last section where it gives you some vital insights on how to write a screenplay (dwelling on dialogues, subtext and constructions of scenes). Usually the other books deal extensively with the construction of the story but say nothing about how to write a script in a visual compelling way with revealing witty dialogues. This book does so! If you're a screenwriter you should have it as a reference book on your desk! Buy it and you'll do a favour to yourself.
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Format: Paperback
This book rewards a second or even third read - there is so much technical information on structuring your screenplay that it is hard to integrate it all in one read. Scholarly, authoritative and immensely helpful to the seriously aspirational screenwriter as well as the established screenwriter who wants to break out of the traditiional three act hero-on-a-transformaitonal-journey story. Highly recommended
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Not just another '3 acts and a hero' screenwriting book. It's dense stuff, but all the better for that. Hugely recommended.
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Excellent introduction and guide through the steps of creating your screenplay...for films. I did find it interesting that Linda's background in writing to deadlines in TV shines through; a glimpse of the real world there.

However most of the great stuff does seem to be for TV nowadays and I would love to see a similar book from Linda on writing for the small screen.
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