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on 20 March 2013
If I could rate this 0 stars I would. This guy has no clue about decent writing, he admits as much in the book. The information in the book is impractical and isn't clearly laid out. Don't waste your money on this piece of junk. There's much better authors out there:

-Syd Fields, Robert McKee, Blake Snyder, Christopher Vogler, Linda Seger.
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on 11 June 2013
Elliot Grove is the founder of the UK based Raindance festivals and similar and provides a very useful book describing many aspects of producing a screenplay.

As well as structure and characterisations, there are plenty of tid-bits of advice about (for example) how the screenplays get assessed. The three 'Ums' is a case in point. The first 10 pages. What to describe and what to leave out? Passing the flick test (like one has to with the book itself - trust me, it 'flicks' well).

Some of these are pointers to be read more than once. Others are 'Ahah!' moments that lodge quickly in the mind. Grove also adds just enough of his own background to provide some counterpoint and the result is a thoroughly interesting read.

As an aside, there are a few reviewers who have said that the book offers a 'free' DVD for positive reviews and that the reviews should not be trusted. Don't count me in that category. I wrote this review because it is a good book that I recommend to others.
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on 12 May 2010
This book has many reviews on Amazon, which give it five stars across the board. What gives? I'll tell you - page one offers a free Raindance DVD worth £15 for everyone that puts up a positive review on Amazon, and asks you to send them the link with your address!!!

It's the most appallingly written piece of trash I've ever come across that was non fiction. It's so bad, I don't even know where to start. There are typos on just about every paragraph, he's talking nonsense from start to finish, it's laid out for little kids with boxes to be filled in, etc. He frequently forgets the difference between a movie and a screenplay after spending the intro telling you that the writer must appreciate that they are not the same. I only read the first 12 or so pages and couldn't believe my eyes. He tells an anecdote about a DJ who performs at 3am every morning, and in the next paragraph he talks about no one listening to his show 'that evening'. An anecdote about Mozart shows that Mr Grove doesn't even know the composer's name! And my favourite: 'Every screenplay starts with a script.' It's that bad.

I leafed through the rest of it and found another corker that tells you everything you need to know about this guy. He has a page showing the writers guild minimums for scripts, then across from it tells you that he's actually a producer, not a writer (surprise, surprise), and he'll always try to get away with paying less. 'Am I exploiting writers? You must answer this question. If you don't like the deal, you can always walk away.' In other words, I will rip you off, and if you don't like it go **** yourself.

I normally wouldn't bother posting comments on Amazon. But given the fact that people are buying this for all the wrong reasons (reviews written for a free DVD), I feel I have to.
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on 14 June 2002
I've read quite a few books over the years and I've never found one so practical. The tools and exercises are great in helping you build that hot script, and it doesn't stop there. Lots of tips and tools to help you in selling your script in the business. There's also a software package based on the book that extends it (called DreamaScript) so that you can build your screenplay interactively, and even get online feedback from Elliot! I've used this to successfully pitch an idea, get a development deal and write a screenplay. I wouldn't even attempt to start another without the software and book. You can get the software at the Dreamascript or Raindance websites. If you want to complete that script, get these!
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on 1 September 2016
Like Elliot Grove, I went to art school, not film school. Unlike him, I then spent many years doing stuff-to-earn-money; journalism, PR, that sort of thing. As a result I'm a bit of a typo/punctuation pedant, and I have to say that, contrary to a one-star review I've just read, there is nothing that troubles me here. It's a very informative, readable, likeable and helpful look at a complex industry.

I've written several scripts for stage and I'm hoping to make the transition to film; this book seems like an excellent start, and Elliot Grove feels like a kindly mentor. And anyone who thinks my five-stars can be bought in exchange for a DVD doesn't know me at all - this is from the heart.

Thank you, Mr Grove, for sharing your expertise.
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on 22 January 2002
Over the years I have read a number of "how to" books on script writing, but only got as far as fantasising about writing a hot script. Then I came across Elliot Grove's "Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay". What a find! It's a wittily written, easy to read, hands-on book which filled me with so much confidence that I actually put pen to paper, followed by fingers on my keyboard. I can't tell you what a relief it was to release all those characters from the confines of my head and see them interact before my very eyes.
This encouraging book is filled with gems of useful information. It gives instruction on how to organise and plan your screenplay, facts and insights into the film-making industry, along with advice such as pitching and marketing. I have to say that this Amish boy seems to understands the writer's mind.
Elliot Grove's book inspired me to take one of his classes, and I wasn't disappointed. He has an authoritative knowledge of the film industry, and an encouraging and creative approach to screen writing.
Mr Grove is quite character, and Raindance is a company that is going places.
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on 4 October 2016
This book is an excellent aid for anyone writing and seeking to sell a commercial screenplay. No book can magically turn you into a star scriptwriter, or force Hollywood to come knocking on your door, but this book comes close: It stops you making all those mistakes which prevent your screenplay being read, sold and produced. I heartily recommend this book to every screenwriter, novice and old-hand. This one book has the potential to make the difference between a rejection slip and a major production.
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on 30 November 2002
I stumbled upon this book by chance. A friend of mine had bought Raindance Writers Lab and had left it in the rain. Although the CD Rom was working, the binding was soaked and she was going to throw it out. I salvaged the damp thing and took it home and carefully dried it out.
When I could, I started reading it, and to my amazement, it totally cleared the fogginess away from the writing I was doing.
In my case, I had developed a basic storyline and outlined a few characters. With Raindance Writers Lab, I was able to sort out the second act, and clarify the ending to the point where my agent says that this is the best work I have done for years!
The business tools, although somewhat elementary for me (I have been living off my writing for nearly thirty years) they still provided me with some new marketing ideas, and some interesting insights on how the screenplay market really works.
I can't reccomend this book enough: either for a starting writer, or for someone, like myself, a veteran.
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on 2 May 2013
A clear and insightful book with a good chapter on the short film. Some excellent suggestions which I haven't seen in any other publication on writing. I would recommend this book for the beginner and anyone who just wants some new ideas on how to structure screenplays.
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on 11 June 2002
So you want to be a Screenwriter? Then read this book!
From the striking cover in this book shines. Elliot's style is at once friendly, knowledgeable, sharp and funny. He shoots from the hip and speaks from the heart.
Ever wanted to hurl your script in sheer frustration? Well this concisely written and considered tome will at first agree with you; then it will point out just where you have gone wrong, and show you how to fix it, quickly and effectively. Every chapter is filled with apt hints and points that really grab your attention and get you thinking.
If you've read Campbell and Vogler and come away confused and dismayed as to how to do archetypes! Then let Elliot calmly lead you through integrating them into the tight mechanics of the Profesional Screenplay.
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