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Best Screenwriting Books

Recommendations from 25 articles, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Joe Rogan and 26 others.
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This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!...
Screenplay
The Foundations of Screenwriting
Syd Field - Nov 29, 2005 (first published in 1979)
Goodreads Rating
A generation of screenwriters has used Syd Field’s bestselling books to ignite successful careers in film. Now the celebrated producer, lecturer, teacher, and bestselling author has updated his classic guide for a new generation of filmmakers, offering a fresh insider’s perspective on the film industry today. From concept to character, from opening...
Recommended by
Rolf Potts
Story
Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
Robert McKee - Nov 25, 1997
Goodreads Rating
Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development exe...
Recommended by
Rolf Potts
The Writers Journey
Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
Christopher Vogler - Oct 31, 2007 (first published in 1992)
Goodreads Rating
The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler's ongoing work on mythology's influence on stories, movies, and man himself. The previous two editions of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a 'classic' for screenwriters, writers, and novelists....
Recommended by
Darren Aronofsky
Adventures in the Screen Trade
A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting
William Goldman - Mar 10, 1989 (first published in 1983)
Goodreads Rating
No one knows the writer's Hollywood more intimately than William Goldman. Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter and the bestselling author of Marathon Man, Tinsel, Boys and Girls Together, and other novels, Goldman now takes you into Hollywood's inner sanctums...on and behind the scenes for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the Presiden...
Recommended by
Andrew Klavan
On Writing
A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King - Jun 02, 2020 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King. Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly ...
The Nutshell Technique
Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting
Jill Chamberlain - Mar 01, 2016
Goodreads Rating
Veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain discovered in her work that an astounding 99 percent of first-time screenwriters don't know how to tell a story. These writers may know how to format a script, write snappy dialogue, and set a scene. They may have interesting characters and perhaps some clever plot devices. But, invariably, while they may ...
Your Screenplay Sucks!
100 Ways to Make It Great
William M Akers - Aug 01, 2008
Goodreads Rating
A lifetime member of the Writer's Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed....
The Coffee Break Screenwriter
Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time - 2nd Edition
Pilar Alessandra - May 01, 2016
Goodreads Rating
The writer receives guidance and tips at every stage of the often intimidating writing process with a relaxed, ten minutes at a time method that focuses the writer and pushes him or her forward. At each step, writers are encouraged to Take Ten and tackle an element of their script using the templates and tools provided. What You ve Accomplished sec...
Into The Woods
John Yorke - Apr 03, 2014 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
We all love stories. But why do we tell them? And why do all stories function in an eerily similar way? John Yorke, creator of the BBC Writers' Academy, has brought a vast array of drama to British screens. Here he takes us on a journey to the heart of storytelling, revealing that there truly is a unifying shape to narrative forms - one that echoes...
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit
How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
Thomas Lennon - Jul 03, 2012 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
This is the only screenwriting guide by two guys who have actually done it (instead of some schmuck who just gives lectures about screenwriting at the airport Marriott); These guys are proof that with no training and little education, ANYONE can make it as a screenwriter (Paul Rudd).Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennons movies have made over a billi...
Recommended by
Anna Kendrick
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Art Of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier
The Hollywood Standard by Christopher Riley
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
Save the Cat!® Strikes Back by Blake Snyder
My Story Can Beat Up Your Story by Jeffrey Schechter
The 21st Century Screenplay by Linda Aronson
Getting it Write by Lee Zahavi Jessup
Making a good script great by Linda Seger
Three Uses of the Knife by David Mamet
Poetics by Aristotle
INSIDE STORY by Dara Marks
The Idea by Erik Bork
The Guide for Every Screenwriter by Geoffrey D. Calhoun
Essentials of Screenwriting by Richard Walter
Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434 by Lew Hunter
How to Manage Your Agent by Gervich Chad
Screenplay by Robin U. Russin
Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters by Michael Tierno
Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind
Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut
Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe
Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias
The Screenwriter's Bible, 7th Edition, A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script by David Trottier
Writing Screenplays That Sell, New Twentieth Anniversary Edition by Michael Hauge
Screenwriting by Paul Joseph Gulino
Story Line by Jennifer Grisanti
Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder
Conversations with My Agent by Rob Long
Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect by Claudia H. Johnson
The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, 10th Anniversary Edition by Karl Iglesias
On Directing Film by David Mamet
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald
Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino
Rebel without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez
How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell
The Artist's Way Starter Kit by Julia Cameron
The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
On Film-making by Alexander Mackendrick
The Hidden Tools of Comedy by Steve Kaplan
Independent Ed by Edward Burns
William Goldman by William Goldman
The Secrets of Action Screenwriting by William C. Martell by
The New Screenwriter's Survival Guide; Or, Guerrilla Meeting Tactics and Other Acts of War by Max Adams
Hollywood Game Plan by Carole M. Kirschner
Cut to the Chase by Linda Venis
Orson Welles, Volume 2 by Simon Callow
Dynamic Dialogue by William Bernhardt
STORY MAPS by Daniel P Calvisi
Orson Welles, Volume 1 by Simon Callow
Directing by Michael Rabiger
Writing the Romantic Comedy by Billy Mernit
Dialogue for Writers by Sammie Justesen
How to Write a Script With Dialogue That Doesn't SuckEasy by Michael Rogan
Writing Movies by Gotham Writers Workshop
Writing the Comedy Blockbuster by Keith Giglio
Minghella on Minghella by Timothy Bricknell
So Your Mama Loves It, But Is It Ready for the Big Time? by
My Indecision Is Final by Jake Eberts
The Woman in the Story by Helen Jacey
Screenwriting Tips, You Hack by Xander Bennett
The Write Track by Samantha Wilson
Hollywood Screenwriting Directory Fall/Winter Volume 7 by Writer's Store Editors
Mediabistro.com Presents Small Screen, Big Picture by Chad Gervich
The Three Stages of Screenwriting by Douglas J. Eboch
The Screenplay Business by Peter Bloore
WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT SELL by First Last
Writing Television Sitcoms by Evan S. Smith
Like Brothers by Mark Duplass
The Writer's Journey - 25th Anniversary Edition by Christopher Vogler
Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey
Picture by Lillian Ross
Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
The Art Of Creative Writing by Lajos Egri
Plots and Characters by Millard Kaufman
Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds by Michael Hauge
The Platinum Age of Television by David Bianculli
How to Write a Movie in 21 Days by Viki King
Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans
The Screenwriter's Workbook by Syd Field
Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect, Second Edition by Claudia Hunter Johnson
The 3rd Act by Drew Yanno
The Screenwriter Looks at the Screenwriter by William Froug
The Key by James Frey