Documentation Help Desk Shop Fan Site

What are your favorite screenwriting books?

Now of course there are some seminal favorites, like Syd Field’s “Screenplay” and Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” but what books on screenwriting have really helped you to mine your talent and write a screenplay?

I’ve always been partial to William Froug’s “Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade.” It was my first book on screenwriting and really blew me away when I read it.

I recently read “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit” but Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant and I really liked that one, too. While it doesn’t really delve into the mechanics of writing a screenplay, it’s a humorous look into the machinations of Hollywood and how to navigate the needs that filmmakers want in a screenwriter.

I’m very interested in what some of your picks are!

1 Like

I’ve read those and about a dozen more. They all seem to be similar in nature. The only one that stands out for me is William Goldman’s book, and it’s not the Princess Bride.

I highly recommend David Mamet’s playwriting Master Class! He references screenwriting a lot in it and it’s very useful since he straddles both worlds.

1 Like

I saw this too, Drew. What are some of your takeaways from that master class with Mamet?

Hey, Jay! And welcome to the group, btw!

My biggest takeaway about his Master Class was his take on plot. He said “it’s not a vacation, it’s a journey” – which I so related to, especially as I get stuck often halfway into a project.

This is the trailer if you’re interested. It’s best to digest his videos on a daily basis, a little bit at a time, especially since he can be a lot to handle, haha!

1 Like

That sounds great! I took Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass on Screenwriting and that was fantastic. He uses examples of his own writing to illustrate his advice and even has a live table reading with some of his students and breaks down their strengths and weaknesses.

Are you talking about Adventures In the Screen Trade?

I think so. It’s been years.