How to Write a Selling Screenplay

How to Write a Selling Screenplay

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by Christopher Keane
     
 

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Christopher Keane has spent 20 years in the business, learning the truths—and the tricks—of writing a selling screenplay. In How to Write a Selling Screenplay, he takes writers through the entire process, from developing a story to finding the best agent. Using an annotated version of an often-optioned screenplay of his own, and citing examples

Overview

Christopher Keane has spent 20 years in the business, learning the truths—and the tricks—of writing a selling screenplay. In How to Write a Selling Screenplay, he takes writers through the entire process, from developing a story to finding the best agent. Using an annotated version of an often-optioned screenplay of his own, and citing examples from movies ranging from Casablanca and Lethal Weapon to Sling Blade and The English Patient, he discusses how to create three-dimensional characters, find a compelling story, build an airtight plot structure, fine-tune dialogue, and much more. Keane's tips on the difference between writing for film and television, as well as his advice on dealing with Hollywood movers and shakers, make this an essential companion for people writing their first—or their fortieth—screenplay.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
There are a lot of fine "how to write a screenplay" titles out and about, but what makes Keane's How To Write a Selling Screenplay unique is the examination on a step-by-step basis of a screenplay, The Crossing, that the author wrote. The teacher/pupil-type exchange, as you closely examine the screenplay, reads almost as if you were asking pertinent questions in class at just the right moments. Keane discusses each screenwriting point (opening sequence, inciting incident, plot point #1, etc.) as it occurs in his screenplay. This makes for twice the fun as you learn solid screenwriting tactics and get to read a thrilling story to boot! Wilson's Inside Hollywood is an eclectic sampling of Tinseltown, never too much information, never quite enough, but a perfect starting point for anyone interested in the motion picture industry. This survival guide to the biz also comes in a format unlike anything this reviewer has ever seen before. Where else will you find the history of Hollywood, an overview of the movie and television industries, and an examination of various film-related job titles, salaries, etc., while taking a quick look at the city of Los Angeles itself? Both books are well written and are essential for strengthening your movie-writing collection.Marty D. Evensvold, Magnolia Branch Lib., TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780767900713
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.85(d)

What People are saying about this

Marshall Brickman
"Keane's book is a method, a set of observations, from which an aspiring writer can discover his own appraoch: an approach to discipline, to work habits, most importantly -- a discovery of process -- so that if there is any talent there and a personal vision, it has a chance to survive and find a practical means of expression. Comprehensive, instructive, and filled with illuminating and helpful personal anecdotes." -- Marshall Brickman, screenwriter, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Annie Hall; cowriter, Manhattan, Sleeper
James Nagel
"Keane's How to Write A Selling Screenplay is certain to become the standard book for aspiring young authors. It covers every aspect of the screenwriting process from initial conception to the completion of the script, finding an agent, and placing the project with a production company. A masterful contribution from a leading authority." -- James Nagel, writer, Hemingway in Love and War, Edison Distinguished Professor, the University of Georgia
Richard Walter
"Keane effectively combines theoretical considerations with hands-on applications that are easy to understand. His experience as an educator is abundantly evident on every page." -- Richard Walter, Professor and Screenwriting Chairman, UCLA
Stanley Ralph Ross
"To call this a book about screenwriting is to underestimate it enormously. It is about good writing and each superb rule and suggestion can be used for plays, novels, TV, and movies. The greatest accolade I can give is to say, 'I wish I had written it.'" -- Stanley Ralp ross, writer, The Bill Coby Show, Columbo
Michael Pressman
"Chris Keane's book, How to Write A Selling Screenplay is the new bible on the art of writing screenplays. It is a must for any new or experienced writer." -- Michael Pressman, Executive Producer, Picket Fences
Ralph Rosenblum
"Keane has written a great guide to screenwriting. If all young screenwriters and studio execs would read it, American movies would be better." -- Ralph Rosenblum, Professor of Film at Columbia University Graduate Film School and editor of Goodbye, Columbus; Annie Hall; and Sleeper

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How to Write a Selling Screenplay 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be somewhat of a writer's 'bible.' Mr. Keane exemplifies the fundamental structure of a great story, whether you are writing a script, a novel, or any other piece of narrative. I recommend all Authors purchase this book, study it, and breath it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Contained in this novel, is the step by step process in which any writer (movie, television, short story, etc.) uses to write successful scripts. It shows you in detailed descriptions on how to develop each division of your story. The author shows how to develop characters and how to keep their appeal for the entire story. The plot is broken down into all of its subparts and describes how to use different techniques to build the plot and heighten the suspense. Each section from introduction to climax to conclusion is laid out and the author teaches you how to develop each of these parts into three acts. This book also helps people turn the ideas in their head into a movie or a story complete with all of the essential parts. The author explains the length of most scripts and teaches the beginning writer how to write in a given amount of time and how to determine how much writing is necessary. This book is perfect for anyone who tells himself 'I have a great idea for a movie.' This book notifies people on different techniques on how to approach writing and sets up schedules on what is best for the writer. In addition to the quotes from award winning writers is a script from the author, Christopher Keane, which helps identify the format of a movie script. I found this book very useful as I continue to write my scripts and feel that any new writer will too.