Making a Good Script Great (Anglais) Broché – 16 décembre 1994
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Seger's book was the ONLY screenwriting book I read before writing "American Pie." Regardless of what you may think of that film, the fact is that this book taught me the things that made the screenplay SELL. Even in a teen comedy, you've got to have proper structure and character development.
Seger's book is basic, yes -- _screenwriting_ is basic. Beginning, middle, end. Be original. Have a character or two arc. Have a relatable theme. Done. The fact that most writers get lost in less important details is maybe why some people expected this book to have more. It has everything you need.
The book is especially helpful at two stages in the writing process: the first is at the beginning when you're faced with a mass of story material, ideas, character elements, themes, bits of dialogue ... and you're trying to see the wood for the trees. The book helps you sort them out and develop a structure for the story, as well as defining the function each of these bits of material might perform in the script.
The second point at which you can turn to the book for help is after you've written a draft and you need to sit back and look at what you've done with a cold, objective, analytical eye. As you read the book, you find yourself applying the concepts and principles to your own work, and the weaknesses (and of course the successful bits!) are easily apparent. It works as a memory jogger, a kind of touchstone to bring you back to first principles, which often get obscured as you concentrate on the specifics of getting the stuff down in writing.
I've read many books on scriptwriting and have gleaned something useful from each one, but Making a Good Script Great is the one I recommend to writers, especially those starting out, and it's the one I personally always go back to as my basic, easy-to-get-around reference text. In fact, writing this review has just reminded me that my own copy is currently on loan to a friend and I'd better get it back!
This book is exactly what the title implies. Linda's book will take your basic idea and mold it into the best script you can write. This is advanced screenwriting lessons.
Linda's book offers such a wealth of information, it's hard to imagine getting serious about the craft of STORY creation without reading it.
I am in the process of organizing a conference, StoryCon, on the Art, Science and Application of Story, and so, have been researching dozens of books on story creation, screen writing, crating fiction, the novel, etc. I've acquired over 50 books, so far, for the purpose of identifying potential speakers for the meeting and this book is one of the best. (You see the link to the website in my about me area at amazon.) One thing I've found, in my research, which has included speaking with many of the authors of these books, is that Linda is probably the most well connected of them all, ie., she knows and or has worked with them.
When I had dinner with her this summer, I was mesmerized by the knowledge and wisdom on story which she shares so easily. It's like that in the book too. I've gone ahead and bought most of her other books too, and look forward to digesting them.
Since I read the books I am nost avid to finish while working out on the treadmill, I give this book a five gallon rating-- for having been sweated over like the best.
Other authors/ books on story worth reading include:
Anything by Syd Field
Robert McKee's Story
Chris Vogler's Writer's Journey
Carol Bly's two books on writing: Writing the Passionate Accurate Story and Beyond the Writer's Workshop
James Bonnet's Stealing Fire From The Gods
Janet Burroway's book on writing
Jame's Frey's books on writing
Sol Stein's books on writing
Michael Hauge's Writing Screenplays that Sell
Robert Burdette Sweet's Writing Towards Wisdom; The Writer As Shaman