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Silman-James Press
The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script / Edition 6

The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script / Edition 6

by David Trottier
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The 20th anniversary edition of one of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting. A standard by which other screenwriting books are measured, it has sold over 200,000 copies in its twenty-year life. Always up-to-date and reliable, it contains everything that both the budding and working screenwriter need under one cover—five books in one!

A Screenwriting Primer—that provides a concise course in screenwriting basics; A Screenwriting Workbook—that walks you through the complete writing process, from nascent ideas through final revisions; A Formatting Guide—that thoroughly covers today's correct formats for screenplays and TV scripts; A Spec Writing Guide—that demonstrates today's spec style through sample scenes and analysis, with an emphasis on grabbing the reader's interest in the first ten pages; A Sales and Marketing Guide—that presents proven strategies to help you create a laser-sharp marketing plan.

Among this book's wealth of practical information are sample query letters, useful worksheets and checklists, hundreds of examples, sample scenes, and straightforward explanations of screenwriting fundamentals. The sixth edition is chock-full of new examples, the latest practices, and new material on non-traditional screenplay outlets.

David Trottier is a script consultant, writer, producer, and screenwriting teacher. The Screenwriter's Bible was developed (and has been regularly updated) over the many years that he has helped screenwriters achieve their goals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935247104
Publisher: Silman-James Press
Publication date: 04/28/2014
Pages: 430
Sales rank: 22,849
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

David Trottier is a writer, a producer, a script consultant, and a popular screenwriting teacher who has developed and perfected The Screenwriter's Bible during the more than fifteen years that he has spent helping screenwriters attain their goals.

Table of Contents

Book I - How to Write a Screenplay, A Primer
How stories work -- Situation, conflict, and resolution -- The flow of the story -- The low down on high concept -- Story layering, plot, and genre -- Ten keys to creating captivating characters -- Dialogue, subtext, and exposition -- How to make a scene -- Suspense and comedy - Television

Book II - 7 Steps to a Stunning Script, A Workbook
Step 1, Summon your Muse -- Step 2, Dream up your movie idea -- Step 3, Develop your core story -- Step 4, Create your movie people -- Step 5, Step out your story -- Step 6, Write your first draft -- Step 7, Make the necessary revisions -- The Character/Action Grid

Book III - Correct Format for Screenplays & TV Scripts, A Style Guide
How to use this guide and its unique cross-referencing tools -- Sample scenes -- The cover, title page, first page, and last page -- Headings (slug lines) -- Description -- Dialogue -- How to format TV scripts -- Glossary -- Complete formatting index

Book IV - Writing Your Breakthrough Spec Script, A Script Consultant's View
The spec script, your key to breaking in -- Exercises in revising scenes -- The first ten pages (a sample plus an analysis)

Book V - How to Sell Your Script, A Marketing Plan
How to protect your work -- What you must do before entering the market -- Your strategic marketing plan (with worksheets) -- How to find an agent -- The query letter (with sample letters) -- How to pitch without striking out -- How to sell your script without an agent -- Television -- Hollywood's back door -- How to break into Hollywood when you live in Peoria -- A personal challenge

Book VI - Resources and Index
Industry organizations and guilds -- Script consultants, seminars, and schools -- Internet sites -- Directories, periodicals, and writers organizations -- Bookstores -- Software -- Books for screenwriters and TV writers -- Contests -- General index

Customer Reviews

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Screenwriter's Bible -Expanded and Updated 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
DaveTrottier More than 1 year ago
As the author, I need to respond to the anonymous two-star review. First of all, let me say that I encourage writers to read as many scripts as they can, including shooting scripts. There is so much that can be learned from reading screenplays. However, there are important differences between a shooting and spec script. Shooting scripts generally (not always) are loaded with camera directions and are mainly concerned with the shoot (which is why they're called shooting scripts). A spec script, however, is written to be read. It's called a spec because it is written on speculation that it might be sold later. That means anyone trying to break in is writing a spec script. A spec must be readable and involving. When a script is sent to a producer, the producer generally hands it off to a reader who writes a coverage and who recommends it or not. Thus, technical intrusions, such as camera directions, slow down the read. Anyone trying to break into the business needs to understand that camera directions, scene numbers, etc., work against them. Also, whereas a shooting script is most often written in an informative style, a spec written by a novice fares better if written in an entertaining style. I don't know how many professional readers and agents have thanked for pointing out these important differences. For those who want to understand all the specific rules for using camera directions and other formatting fine points, I highly recommend Christopher Riley's first rate book. I do not disparage it. My personal goal is to help writers in any way I can to craft a spec script that will be most appealing to readers. Keep writing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the author of ¿Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets¿ I highly recommend screenwriters to read ¿The Screenwriter¿s Bible.¿ This book solves many of the problems of properly formatting screenplays. The book solidly sets up the structure of the story you are writing in the proper script format -- precisely what agents and production companies need to submit a script to higher levels of management for a green light. If you follow the advice given in this book, you will have a screenplay with the major critical elements installed. This will satisfy story analysts. You¿ll be satisfied with the results, too! This book is of high value to the screenwriter, as a properly formatted script will be recognized as a professional submission in Hollywood. Professional submissions are a prime critical element that gets script¿s sold!
Chevaughn More than 1 year ago
This book helped me more in the first 100 pages than everything else I've read on screenwriting combined. A real must have for novice screenwriters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just started with this book, and I'm very impressed. Anything you need to know about writing Screenplay's he explains in ways that are easy to understand and gives great examples of movies you can relate too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an amazing, revolutionizing experience! Every screenwriter should own this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best screenwriting book that I have come encounter with. I have read many book they were so complicated that I didn't finish reading. Now that I have read the screenwriters bible I am half-way through my script. It gives you direction, how to get fresh ideas to naming your characters. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get started with a script but don't know how. This book will be the best investment you give yourself. It is all so the first pay off of your successful script. Good luck k.ray
Guest More than 1 year ago
All you really need to know about this book is the price. That is it. If you have ever, or currently have an idea for a screenplay, this book will guide you from the ideas that are tossed around in your mind to the signing on the dotted line. Nothing comes close to this book, although the prices of actually consulting the author are slightly pricey, his book is even better. Before I bought this book, my script was good and now its even better. The minor 'writing mistakes' that I made, are gone and the script is well on its way. No other screenwriting book comes close.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I ordered three other titles about screenwriting before this one, and while all were helpful, this is the one that finally showed me what I wanted to know, and a lot more. The breadth and depth of this volume far exceeded all the others combined. Like someone else said, if you've got the gift, this is the book that will show you how to do it.
Debbi Mack More than 1 year ago
If you want to learn screenplay format, this book is a must!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
THE SCREENWRITER'S BIBLE, in one volume, comprises six substantial guidebooks: Book I: How to Write a Screenplay--A Primer Book II: 7 Steps to a Stunning Script--A Workbook Book III: Proper Formatting Technique--A Style Guide Book IV: Writing & Revising Your Breakthrough--A Script Consultant's View. Book V: How to Sell Your Script--A Marketing Plan Book VI: Resources and General Index. The book's large format 386 pages, eleven by eight-and-a-half inch, would equal at least 600 pages in the more common format of nine by six inch. Book I: How to Write a Screenplay. Aptly subtitled a primer, it presents a compact introduction to screenwriting. In particular, Trottier focuses on the three-act structure with six key turning or plot points: the catalyst the big event the pinch 'or midpoint' the crisis 'low point' the showdown the realization. Throughout, the author includes examples from well-known films. Book II: 7 Steps to a Stunning Script. This workbook includes 25 checkpoint lists and a character/action grid -- highly useful in constructing the screenplay. Book III: Proper Formatting Technique--A Style Guide. 'The spec script is the selling script, sometimes called the writer's draft. You write it with the idea of selling it later or circulating it as a sample. Once it is sold and goes into pre-production, it will be transformed into a shooting script, also known as the production draft. The spec-script style avoids camera angles, editing directions, and technical intrusions' 'page 114'. This book convinced me to use the author's software 'Dr Format' instead of 'Final Draft.' To illustrate formatting a spec script, Trottier includes his humorous three-page script 'The Perspicacious Professor.' Book IV: Writing & Revising Your Breakthrough--A Script Consultant's View. In this book the author provides tips on 'how to direct the camera without using camera directions' and exercises, based on his clients' scripts, to guide reader in revising to current spec-writing style. Book V: How to Sell Your Script--A Marketing Plan. In addition to numerous suggestions on marketing, Trottier cautions screenwriters to protect their work. 'Registering one's copyright and displaying the copyright notice on the script's title page is no longer seen as something done by paranoid writers.' Writers Guild of America will register one-page synopsis, longer treatments, as well as draft's' of a screenplay. Book VI: Resources and General Index. This book includes several lists containing 'carefully selected entries.' I promptly looked up the first entry: 'Updates to The Screenwriter's Bible' on the author's website... and found a useful tip on formatting as well as revisions on one of the exercises in Book IV. Presumably these changes will be included in the next edition. Five shining stars to this book. -- C J Singh
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must buy for any novice or experienced screenwriter. A great reference for all aspects of screewriting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author makes a major mistake: claiming that there is a big difference bewteen a spec script and a shooting script. The only notable difference is that in a shooting script, scenes are numbered for the shooting schedule. Generally speaking, directors don't go through a production script and put in extra camera angles. The angles you see are put in by the writer. Directors work from a shot list. (If you do see a script with every camera angle, sound cues, lighting cues, FX, what you have is a Continuity Script. Continuity Scripts are assembled after the film has been edited for release, for copyright and other legal record keeping.) Working screenwriters know all this, but novices don't. Trottier's error has led to novice writers avoiding the study of great, widely available shooting scripts, scripts which have so much to teach them. Trottier adds to his mistake by stating that Chris Riley's book, The Hollywood Standard, teaches formatting for shooting scripts only. This is flatly untrue. Riley's book is great for formatting in general, an unlinke Trottier, Riley's a working Hollywood professional. Is Trottier just ignorant of the facts here, or is he slamming a rival?