The Coffee Break Screenwriter Breaks the Rules: A Guide for the Rebel Writer

The Coffee Break Screenwriter Breaks the Rules: A Guide for the Rebel Writer

by Pilar Alessandra


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Pilar Alessandra’s popular book, The Coffee Break Screenwriter, taught writers how to outline quickly, write efficiently, and rewrite creatively. It is the “go-to” book for getting one’s story on the page. But now that same writer may be doing a final pass on a project, working with a producer, or coming up with a new project only to be hit with . . . RULES! Should the writer respond to this random list of do’s and don’ts pertaining to structure, characters, dialogue, and formatting? Nope.
Who says you have to follow the screenwriting rules? In this book Pilar reviews the rules writers assume they should follow, discusses why they’re there in the first place, and then shows you ways to creatively break them!
Rules evaluated include those addressing:
storytelling devices like flashback and voiceover character rules such as empathy and backstory dialogue faux pas such as writing on the nose structural issues such as nonlinear writing and act-break placement formatting sticking points involving emotion and visuals
For every “rule” that’s discussed, Pilar covers:
1. Why the rule exists.
2. Why writers should break the rule.
3. How writers can break the rule.
4. How breaking the rule can break bad (so break with care).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615932825
Publisher: Wiese, Michael Productions
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Pages: 106
Sales rank: 509,151
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Alessandra started her career as a senior story analyst at DreamWorks SKG. In 2001, she opened the Los Angeles–based On the Page Writers’ Studio, dedicated to teaching and consulting with screenwriters and TV writers at all levels. She’s the author of the popular scriptwriting book, The Coffee Break Screenwriter, and host of the “On the Page Podcast.” An in-demand speaker, she’s taught seminars at Disney Animation, ABC, CBS, and MTV, and traveled the world teaching in the UK, China, Poland, Vietnam, Colombia, Portugal, and South Africa. Pilar’s greatest accomplishment is the success of her students, many of whom have won top competitions like the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, are working on TV shows such as The 100, Silicon Valley, and Grey’s Anatomy, and have sold scripts and pitches to studios including DreamWorks, Warner Bros., and Disney.

Table of Contents

How This Book Works
How to Use This Book
Chapter 1: Where Do They Get This Stuff?
Chapter 2: Voiceover and Flashback and Wall-Breaking, Oh My
Chapter 3: Letting Your Characters Run Wild
Chapter 4: Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
Chapter 5: Freedom from Format
Chapter 6: Newsflash: There Is No Structure Jail
Chapter 7: What Not to Write . . . and Other Rules That Don’t Hold Up
Conclusion: Rules Are Meant to Be Broken

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