Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My screenwriting bookshelf

Someday maybe we'll talk about my other bookshelves (the sci-fi bookshelf, fantasy bookshelf, mystery bookshelf, non-fiction, etc) but today I'll just give you a quick run down of the books I refer to most often when I am writing and need words of wisdom, technical help or just need to procrastinate.

Of course, there are two or three which should be on every screenwriter's bookshelf:


  • Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
  • Screenwriting 434 by Lew Hunter
  • Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger

I suppose if you want the true basics, you can read Aristotle's Poetics but that's up to you. It makes you sound smart to your non-writing friends if you can quote Aristotle.


Books I read for inspiration:


  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • Breakfast with Sharks by Michael Lent
  • The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

Books I refer to for advice (but not as much as the first 3):

  • Creating Unforgetable Characters by Linda Seger
  • The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler
  • Writing Screenplays that Sell by Michael Hauge

Books I haven't really used in the last year, but I still have on my shelf:

  • Screenplay by Syd Field
  • Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Televison by Richard Walter
  • Write Screenplays that Sell by Hal Ackerman
  • Writing Scripts Hollywood Will Love by Katherine Atwell Herbert

Recent purchases/reads:

  • 10 Minutes to the Pitch by Chris Abbott
  • Screenplay by Disney by Jason Surrell
  • Successful Television Writing by Lee Goldberg


I'm going to pick up Alex's book Crafty Screenwriting next chance I get. I'm always picking it up in the bookstore, but I'd like to finish it this year, so I'll just buy the damn thing already.

Now you know why I never get anything written -- I'm reading too many books!

1 comment:

The Moviequill said...

Hal Ackerman's book was the last one I bought. I am looking for Jeff Kitchen's new one now, 'Writing A Great Movie: Four Advanced Tools'. Supposedly he takes you through the steps of idea, to outline, to character creation, to script to re-write. Basically you follow the creative steps all the way in a 'looking over his shoulder' kind of deal, sounds interesting. No McKee eh? (wink)