a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Screenwriting Book

For the past few days, to fulfill my hour-a-day-of-screenwriting pledge (while waiting for my Internet co-worker to lob back some more brainstorming notes on our evolving structure), I have busied myself by reading a book on screenwriting.

Yeah, it counts. My rules.

Every year or so I do this, because I find it helps. I look for good screenwriting books, and then read them at the perfect time -- when I'm brainstorming a new piece, working out the structure, and looking for things to help inspire me along the end.

This current book is perfect.

It's called Writing Drama, by Yves Lavandier, and it's probably not for the beginning writer. It's a dense book, that essentially covers everything about the nuts and bolts of drama and screenwriting.

Lavandier has read all the other really good books that you should be reading and haven't read yet, though he doesn't really distill them as much as accumulate a lot of good ideas -- this book is almost 600 pages long.

I'm hamstrung a bit because I haven't seen a lot of the movies he talks about along the way, yet that turns out to be a minor point, because he makes it clear what the references indicate.

The book was originally published in France, but Lavandier isn't a pro-European film, anti-Hollywood guy. Instead, he believes in storytelling, in great stories told right, and he thinks that generally Hollyhwood has figured out how to do it better.

It's a good read, just because as I pore through it, I'm thinking about the script I'm writing now, and what it is lacking, and what it needs, and what about the structure already works.

Worth seeking out, if you are into a little self-education.

59 straight days, through yesterday.


At 9:08 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Thanks for the tip, Scott. I was just at Borders last Sunday looking for what's "new" out there. Almoast bought Joe Eszterhas's book wich is entitled, "The Screenwriter as God" or something like that.

LOVE books that give me some inside information on people IN the industry doing the cool stuff. LOVED Lynda Obst's "Hello He Lied," and have also read Robert Evans' "The Kid Stays in the Picture." Read either of those books?

How to books are nice REFERENCE, but generally aren't much fun to talk about.

Need some inspiration? Try reading Tom Matthews interview with Richard LaGravenese in the latest issue of "Creative Screenwring." Would LOVE to work with a pro like Richard LaGravenese. Wanna get inspired? Get inspired by the dream of working with one of the pros. Does it for me everytime.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Christian M. Howell said...

I managed to find excerpts if anyone is interested.

Writing Drama

It's enough to consider purchasing it. He offers interesting insights.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

I think it's a fabulous book and am reading it right this very sec. Feel guilty actually, since the publisher sent me it in June and I promised them a review but with the move county-wise and starting a whole new life etc I have beenn really slow to finish it. They must think I don't like it but actually it's the best screenwriting book I have ever read, especially 'cos I don't want to kill myself over the simplistic nature of it, cos it's actually very philosophical. Fun too. I especially like the fact he compares screenwriting structure to sex.


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