All writers should continuously strive to improve their writing skills, and what better way to do that than by checking out a new screenwriting book! While some screenwriters go to film school, there are so many resources to learn the screenwriting process that cost a lot less. Save The Cat!, Screenwriting for Dummies, The Screenwriter's Bible, and more … today, I'm talking about some of my favorite books by screenwriting gurus written for screenwriters! Pick one up before you write your next - or even first - movie script.
- Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need
By Blake Snyder
Probably one of the best-known books on screenwriting, Save the Cat! breaks down story structure from successful films in a way that allows writers to recognize and understand format and key beats easily. While some writers love it, and others hate it, I think it's a great entry point if you're looking to learn more about screenwriting and film script story structure.
- Screenwriting for Dummies
By Laura Schellhardt
Screenwriting for Dummies is a great starter book for those just beginning to get into screenwriting. This book focuses on providing a basic understanding of all the aspects that go into writing spec scripts. Focusing mainly on plot and character development, this is an excellent choice for those about to write their first screenplays.
- The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script
By David Trottier
My favorite of the screenwriting how-to books! The Screenwriter's Bible is a reliable and thorough guide to pretty much anything that you want to know about screenwriting or becoming a professional screenwriter. This book is helpful for new or working writers. It has a plethora of practical information, as well as a ton of examples from successful screenplays and your favorite movies. The feature film formatting section in this book is one that I find myself referring to often, as it always has the answer to whatever questions I have about traditional screenplay format.
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
By Stephen King
Stephen King's On Writing is often recommended to all kinds of writers, and I can't help but agree. This book is an inspiration to read for any type of creative writing you pursue. If you're someone who doesn't like the textbook vibe of many writing books, then this is the book for you. On Writing will hold your attention while motivating you and inspiring your own writing.
- Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
By Robert McKee
Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him international notice and acclaim. Story breaks down the concepts that he shares in his workshops on the craft of screenwriting and the writing process. Robert McKee entertains while shedding light on the art of storytelling.
- How to Manage Your Agent
By Chad Gervich
How to Manage Your Agent provides an informative look at the relationship writers have with their representation. It helps readers to understand, navigate, and know what to expect from a manager or agent. This book is a must-read for writers looking to learn more about how to progress in the movie business and gain representation!
- Adventures in the Screen Trade
By William Goldman
Adventures in the Screen Trade is written by the two-time Oscar-winning and very accomplished screenwriter William Goldman. Though it's nearly 40 years old, you'll get a fascinating look behind the scenes of Hollywood, where producers decide what scripts will make great movies and why. Reviewers say the book's advice still rings true today.
I hope these books can help any writers out there looking for a good read on how to get started or how to write more compelling stories. Even if you've been writing for a while or have made a career in the film industry, there's always more to learn on the craft of writing. Happy reading and writing!