Sunday, April 1

Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger

Script writing is a befuddling thing. Whether you're new to it all or have written a few scripts in your time, everyone is looking for a way to make their writing even grander.

This book was recommended to me by a family friend before I'd even begun to contemplate script writing. So, first off, 'Thank you, John!'

I'd like to clarify before I go any further that although "script" is in the title, the main focus of the book is on writing screenplays. Even so, the writing process for scripts is so very different than prose that I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their script type preferences.


There are plenty of things this book zooms in on that multiple script formats require.

1. Structure

The Three Act Structure is most prominent in film script writing but I've found it helpful when structuring any plot. In fact, I don't believe I had ever heard of it until I opened this book.

2. Visuals

With the exception of audio scripts, you're writing something that will be viewed more than read. In every case, your writing is destined to transcend off the page into a different medium. You must keep in mind that you are writing something which will possibly (unless you produce it) be taken out of your hands and interpreted in ways you might not have contemplated.

3. Dialogue

Unless you're writing a silent movie, there will be dialogue. All your characters are deaf? There's still dialogue, regardless of whether it's audible. You can kiss paragraphs and pages of description goodbye. Dialogue is the raft which is going to propel your script where it needs to go.

4. Character Dynamics

If your characters haven't got a lot of conflict going on, your script is going to get flattened by a steamroller...because yes, that's how slow it's going. Plot is important - particularly in scripts - but if your characters aren't driving it, you're stuffed.

5. Marketability

Write something that can be made. That means setting fire to your dream Avataresque big buck budget. You also need to write something that people will want to see/read/listen to. Might sound like a shallow thing to think about but it's realistic.

'Making a Good Script Great' discusses so much more than these five things. It will help you to get into the mind frame of a script writer and push the limits on your writing abilities.

Warning: You may never look at films in the same light ever again.

I would say that I'd recommend this book but I think I already did. Now it's up to you to read the thing. ♥

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer received this book as a gift. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Silman-James and is used solely as an aide to the review.

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