How to Build a Great Screenplay: A Master Class in Storytelling for Film [NOOK Book]

Overview



Acclaimed USC screenwriting teacher David Howard has guided hundreds of students to careers in writing for film and television. Drawing on decades of practical experience and savvy, How to Build a Great Screenplay deconstructs the craft of screenwriting and carefully reveals how to build a good story from the ground up. Howard eschews the "system" offered by other books, ...
See more details below
How to Build a Great Screenplay: A Master Class in Storytelling for Film

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview



Acclaimed USC screenwriting teacher David Howard has guided hundreds of students to careers in writing for film and television. Drawing on decades of practical experience and savvy, How to Build a Great Screenplay deconstructs the craft of screenwriting and carefully reveals how to build a good story from the ground up. Howard eschews the "system" offered by other books, emphasizing that a great screenplay requires dozens of unique decisions by the author. He offers in-depth considerations of:

* characterization
* story arc
* plotting and subplotting
* dealing with coincidence in story plotting
* classical vs. revolutionary screenplay structure
* tone, style, and atmosphere
* the use of time on screen
* the creation of drama and tension
* crucial moments in storytelling

Throughout the book, Howard clarifies his lessons through examples from some of the most successful Hollywood and international script-oriented films, including Pulp Fiction, American Beauty, Trainspotting, North by Northwest, Chinatown, and others. The end result is what could very well become the classic text in the field---a bible for the burgeoning screenwriter.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this companion to The Tools of Screenwriting, Howard, founding director of the graduate screenwriting program at the University of Southern California, deals specifically with story structure, focusing on elements like connecting with an audience, creating drama and tension, and building subplots. This book is less interactive and more textbookish, making it appropriate for screenwriting students; Howard's have gone on to pen the screenplays for successful films like Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"How to Build a Great Screenplay" is insightful, riveting, clear, concise and to the point. It's a screenwriter's screenwriting book packed with practical as well as theoretical insights. If you're serious about screenwriting — start here, and if you're a twenty-year veteran, this is the place to take a refresher course. I came away from reading this book inspired with a renewed sense of purpose on why I write screenplays. This isn't a book — it's an education!"

—Jack Epps Jr., screenwriter Top Gun, Dick Tracy, Turner & Hooch, The Secret of My Success, and Legal Eagles.

"David Howard's How To Build A Great Screenplay is a rarity - not merely a 'how to' guide, but the most comprehensive and thoughtful examination of storytelling, and as close to an entire graduate writing program, as one is likely to find within the covers of a single book."

—Adam Belanoff, writer and producer on Cosby and Murphy Brown, and writer on Wings

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429994781
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • File size: 584 KB

Meet the Author



David Howard is the founding director of the graduate screenwriting program at USC, where he teaches various courses in screenwriting. His students have scripted such successful films as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Air Force One, Permanent Midnight, and Natural Born Killers. The coauthor (with Edward Mabley) of The Tools of Screenwriting, he lives in Los Angeles, California.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents



Acknowledgments

Preface

Story and Storytelling
The Story
The Chronology of Events
A Crucial Paradox
Life Is What Happens
The World of the Story
Collisions
Where's the Antagonist
Characters' Baggage and Unfinished Business
Lightening, Decisions, and Protagonists
Character Arc
What If This Story Were a Fairy Tale or Myth?
The Audience's Fragile Involvement

The Telling of the Story
The Seamless Dream
The Intended Impact
Camera as Storyteller
Genre, Style, and Tone
Separation of Experience and Knowledge
Hope Versus Fear
The "Game" of Storytelling

Building Stories
The Creation of Drama
Main Character or Ensemble Story?
Protagonist and the Creation of Story
Worthy Antagonist
Supportive and Reflective Characters
Tension from First to Last
Actions and Goals
Character Arc
Pivotal Decisions
Time Compression and Intensity
The Possible and the Impossible

Foundations
Building from the Ground Up
Main Character's Passion
Objective and Subjective Drama
Theme
Backstory
What's at Stake?
Six Types of Characters

Carpentry and Craftsmanship
Creating the Audience's Experience
Immediacy and the Sense of Here and Now
Exposition
Rising Action
Point of No Return
Willing Suspension of Disbelief
Demonstration versus Explanation
Number of Clearly Defined Characters
Character Motivations
Subtext
Recapitulations
Dealing with Coincidence
Creating Living Characters
Inner Life and Character Attitude
Protagonist and Antagonist
Secondary Characters
Underlying Motives

Time and Storytelling
Screen Time and Drama
Time and Complexity
Action Time
Amount of Story and Screen time
Real Time versus Screen Time versus Time Frame
The Simplest Use of Time
Why Alter Simple Chronology?
Time and the Lives of the Characters
Objective Time and Subjective Time

Basic Dramatic Structure
What is Drama?

The Three Acts
The Beginning: Engaging the Audience
The Middle: Elaborating and Extending the Engagement
The End: Releasing the Engagement
The Writer's Relationship to the Acts

Sequences
From Acts to Sequences
The Elements of a Sequence
Special Needs of the First Sequence
Pretitle Sequences and Codas

Crucial Moments
Crucial Moments in the Main Character's Life
Crucial Moments in the Telling of the Story

Subplots
The Role of Subplots
Subplots Characters
Beginning, Middle, and End
Resolution of Subplots and Main Plot
How to Weave in Subplots

The Classical Screenplay Structure
Main Character's Undisturbed Status Quo
Creating the Dilemma
Elaborating on the Dilemma and the World of the Story
First Potential Breakthrough
Main Subplot and Main Character
Greatest Exertion
False Resolution
Final Test of Character and True Resolution
Typical Placements and Proportions
Relationships of Midpoint, Culmination, and Resolution
Where Does "Climax" Fit In?

Beyond Classical Dramatic Structure
The Single Unbreakable Rule of Drama

Anything But Classical Screenplay Structure
Being Different
Breaking the Form
Storyteller Intentions and Priorities

The Limits of Classical, the Beginnings of Revolutionary
Are All "Revolutionary" Films Revolutionary?
Mainstream Experiments in Storytelling
A Few Lessons from Past Experiments
Storytelling Myths, Legends, and Lies

How to Shake Up Classical Structure--and Why
Why Some Stories Can't Be Classically Told
The Physics of Drama
How to Stir the Pot
Cost-Benefit Analyses with Rule-Breaking
Using the Rules to Break the Rules
Clarity and Obscurity

Writing and Work Strategies
Before the First Draft
What Keeps the Audience in Their Seats
Consider the Audience's Position

The First Draft
The Sequence Breakdown
The Step Outline
Writing the First Draft

After the First Draft
Clarifying Your Theme
Rewriting
Know Your Long Suit and Short Suit
Dramatic Instincts

A Final Note

Index

About the Author
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)