Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

The Screenwriting Community’s Favorite Books for Scribes

I recently conducted a survey of screenwriters to learn more about what makes them tick: when do they write? Where do they write? What type of content do they find most useful? And where did they LEARN to write a screenplay? The last question was revealing: So many screenwriters never went to film school. They learned the craft by reading a ton of screenplays and screenwriting books. And you can, too. We asked the screenwriting community to name their favorite books for screenplay how-to’s, and here’s what they said, in no particular order.

Hold your place in line, screenwriter! We’re getting closer to launching SoCreate Screenwriting Software to a limited number of beta testers. , without leaving this page.

Screenwriting books
  • Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder

    A candid look at the business of making movies, structure, genres, beats, and loglines, plus rules for making your script more marketable.

  • Screenwriter’s Bible, by David Trottier

    Called “the bible” for a reason! This book covers just about everything you’d need to know as an aspiring or professional screenwriter.

  • Creating Character Arcs, by K.M. Weiland (plus associated workbooks)

    A deep dive into how to create story beats that build realistic and compelling character arcs within a three-act structure.

  • The Pocket Screenwriting Guide: 120 Tips for Getting to FADE OUT, by Mario O. Moreno and Anthony Grieco

    This guide leads you through storytelling with 120 tips, which also happens to be the standard page length for a two-hour feature film.

  • Anatomy of Story, by John Truby

    Written by a Hollywood story consultant, this book draws on philosophy and mythology, offering up secrets and new techniques to build an effective narrative.

  • On Writing, by Stephen King

    This memoir delves into the experiences, writing habits, and convictions from King’s storied career and work, detailing the tools that he thinks every writer should have.

  • Story, by Robert McKee

    Substance, structure, style, and the principles of screenwriting make for an “intense learning experience,” according to McKee’s students.

  • The Hollywood Standard, by Christopher Riley

    Using hundreds of real examples, this book walks you through formatting scripts for TV and movies.

  • Into the Woods, by John Yorke

    This book investigates the heart of storytelling, showing there’s a unifying shape to the best narratives.

  • The Hidden Tools of Comedy, by Steve Kaplan

    Want to understand the mechanics of comedy, and how to work comedic situations into your script in a way that translates to humor? This book is for you.

Do you have any favorites that helped your screenwriting career? Send us a tweet at @SoCreate and help us build out this list!

Just keep reading,

You may also be interested in...

6

Tips for SettingStrongWriting Goals

6 Tips for Setting Strong Writing Goals

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We try to set writing goals for ourselves, and we totally fail. It can be hard to work on your screenplay when you have another full-time job, a family to take care of, or any access to the biggest distraction of all…the Internet. No need to feel bad; it happens to us all. Let’s look to the future and start leaving those feelings of disappointment behind! Let’s set some strong writing goals using these 6 tips! 1. Create a calendar. While it may feel frustratingly time consuming, take an hour and write your goal deadlines out on a calendar. This can be a physical, paper calendar...

Top 5 Gifts For Screenwriters

Holiday Gift Guide: Top 5 Gifts for Screenwriters

Wondering what to gift the special writer in your life? You’ve given them notebooks, and screenwriting how-to books, and writer’s block prompts, and now you’ve hit gifting blocks of your own. SoCreate is here to help you find the perfect present that’s surprising, unusual, and most importantly, useful. We’ve assembled a list of top gifts for screenwriters that will get them excited and ready to write their next blockbuster hit! Screenwriting Gift 1: Airbnb Gift Card: Sometimes all a writer needs to break writer’s block is a change of scenery. Gift your screenwriter a getaway – whether it’s a quiet...

Fall in Love With These Romantic Movie Screenwriters

Love them or hate them, mushy films about love are here to stay. Whether you love love or can’t stand the site of heart-shaped candy, there’s something special to be said about the screenwriters who tug at our heartstrings with stories of finally meeting our someone. The following romance writers have found a place in the hearts of millions of viewers around the globe. What’s a love story without a great ending? Casablanca, one of the greatest romance movies of all time, almost didn’t have one. “When we began, we didn’t have a finished script,” said screenwriter Howard Koch. “Ingrid...

Comments