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“In this latest in the “Now Write!” series, Ellis (editor, Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers; Now Write! Nonfiction) and her filmmaker niece Lamson compile guidelines from successful screenwriters on all of the details of writing a screenplay, from choosing your story to structure to character development.
“Readers will be interested to hear the opinions of such estimated screenwriters as Linda Seger and Syd Field and their takes on what motivates them to write screenplays and how they cope with writer’s block and revisions. There are exercises and useful tips and suggestions, like rewriting your screenplay to include more layers and subtext.
“Verdict: This guide stands out from the crowd by incorporating the techniques of a variety of different screenwriters rather than just one professional’s approach. Highly recommended for readers interested in writing, screenwriting, film, and storytelling.” – Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., CA
“The concise, pointed essays, averaging three-to-four pages, offer tips on getting started, tackling structure, building characters, and what to do with the script when it’s done, followed by exercises intended to jump-start the writing process. Lost scribe Christina Kim urges writers to go beyond what they know through firsthand research. German film writer Beth Serlin shows readers how to pump up the action through verb choice. Legendary screenwriting guru Syd Field offers advice on how to make characters well rounded. Script consultant Bill Lundy breaks down the all-important log line to show writers how to summarize their screenplays in one sentence. Packed with invaluable knowledge and tips, this volume is essential reading for any aspiring screenwriter.” –Kristine Huntley, Booklist
“For anyone who dreams of becoming a screenwriter, there’s Now Write! Screenwriting ($14.95, Tarcher/Penguin, softcover), subtitled ‘screenwriting exercises from today’s best writers and teachers.’ …it shortcuts a long learning process by teaching how to solve problems like knowing where to start the story, why one should focus on your particular writing style and your personal character when digging out of a plot hole, and methods to stop your internal critic from too much negative thinking. Now go write that film!” – Bookviews by Alan Caruba
Project Muse review
“Now Write! is not a screenwriting book in any traditional sense. It does not offer a winning recipe, secret plan, or magic elixir that will unlock the vault that contains the perfect formula with which to create and structure a solid screenplay. …For the screenwriting instructor, the exercises can be more than helpful in organizing a class. There are few texts that can match this book’s breadth and variety in its sensible and workable writing drills.” – Project Muse by David Bennett Carren