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How to Write Movie in 21 Days

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The ultimate survival guide, How to Write a Movie in 21 Days takes the aspiring screenwriter the shortest distance from blank page to complete script.

Viki King's Inner Movie Method is a specific step-by-step process designed to get the story in the writer's onto the page. This method guides the would-be screenwriter through the writing of a...

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How to Write a Movie in 21 Days: The Inner Movie Method

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The ultimate survival guide, How to Write a Movie in 21 Days takes the aspiring screenwriter the shortest distance from blank page to complete script.

Viki King's Inner Movie Method is a specific step-by-step process designed to get the story in the writer's onto the page. This method guides the would-be screenwriter through the writing of a movie. It answers such questions as:

  • How to clarify the idea you don't quite have yet
  • How to tell if your idea is really a movie
  • How to move from what you want to say saying it
  • How to stop getting ready and start

Once you know what to write, the Inner Movie Method will show you how to write it. It also addresses such issues as:

  • How to pay the rent while paying your dues
  • What to say to your spouse when you can't come to bed
  • How to keep going when you think you can't

For accomplished screenwriters honing their craft, as well as those who never before brought their ideas to paper, How to Write a Movie in 21 Days is an indispensable guide. And Viki King's upbeat, friendly style is like having a first-rate writing partner every step of the way.

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Editorial Reviews

Maisha Hazzard
Viki King manages to demystify the art and science of screenwriting. Speaking from the heart and later, spotlighting concepts from the head, Viki King presents tactics that place writing in the unstressed context of nonthreatening time management. The idea of eight, nine and ten minute sessions is wonderfully simple, promisingly adaptive, and joyfully do-able.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062730664
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 249,537
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Viki King is a writer, script consultant, and lecturer. Since 1968 she has written for such prime-time TV shows as Three's Company and Hart to Hart. As a script consultant she has wide clientele of screenwriters. She lectures at the University of California at Los Angeles on the Inner Movie Method and conducts seminars nationally, from New York University and the University of California at Santa Barbara, from Mensa to Lompoc Federal Penitentiary, to the Writer's Guild of America. Ms. King lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Promises, Promises

So you want to write a movie? You've come to the right place!

The Inner Movie Method takes you the shortest distance from your great idea to a completed screenplay.

It covers everything you need to know about structure, content, and characters; it even tells you where to set the tabs on the typewriter.

The Inner Movie Method will help you find out what you want to write and then help you write it.

How to use this book.

This book is divided into three sections: Beginning, Middle and End, just like a screenplay. Beginning is set-up, middle is action, and end is resolution. We'll set up your movie. You'll write the movie. We'll resolve any obstacles that keep you from finishing your movie.

Beginning:How to get ready.

This is where we'll work out everything you'll need to write your movie. We'll find your story, discover your characters, work out the best structure for your story, and then show you how it should look on the page.

Here's a sample of what you will get:

  • How to know what your idea is.Exercises to find out what you want to say. Actions to get you to say it.

  • How to tell if your idea is really a movie:

  • Find out if your idea is a song, a play, or a novel, rather than a movie, and what to do if it is.

  • How to become a technical expert in 2 pages:

  • Type the 2-Page Picture Show and thereby discover all you'll need to know about screenplay form.

Middle: Writing your movie in 21 days.

Here's where you'll do it. You'll writea fast random draft from your heart; you'll rewrite from your head. This section shows every step you need to take and when you need to take it to complete your script.

Here are some questions you'll find answered:

  • How did I lose my hero and how do I get him back? What's my story again? I keep forgetting.

  • How come nothing's happening?
  • How do I get my characters to talk like real people?

  • I know the beginning and I know the end, now how do I get here from there?

We'll go hand in hand, step-by-step, all the way through your movie. You'll even learn:

  • How to Know When You're Done:Test questions that can only be answered when the script is absolutely finished.

  • How to Pick Two People for a Test Reading (excluding all members of your immediate household):Questions you ask the reader to find out if you said what you wanted to say.Questions to have the reader ask you to find out if you've said it the best possible way.

End: Embracing the impossible obstacles.

This is where we'll demystify any blocks, doubts, or circumstantial difficulties you might have along the way.

No other screenwriting book deals with the fact that you think you're going to die of this. You'll use this section to identify why you've stopped, so you can take action to keep going. We'll cover:

  • How to keep going when you think you can't.Statements you can have a loved one say to you. Confidence builders, including "How to Write a Fan Letter to Yourself."

  • Why you have to believe you can do it and what to do when you don't.

  • Why you get the flu when you're on Page 90.

  • Exercises to keep going. Pick one; pick ten-don't stop.

And if it's too hard and you just can't go on, the Inner Movie Method covers such details as

  • Where to arrange your workspace.

  • How to schedule work time.

  • What to say to your spouse when you can't come to bed.

Chances are you'll want to go directly to the section on how much money you're going to make. In There's No Business Like Show Business, you'll find answers to these questions.

  • Do I need an agent?

  • How do I get an agent?

  • What do I do until I get an agent?

  • And we'll go even further.

  • How do I know when I'm in the business?

  • Can I succeed in Hollywood if I live in Buffalo?

The Inner Movie Method asks all the obscure questions you haven't thought of and answers all the questions you already have.

We won't say "this is the definition of this" and "that is the meaning of that." You just start right in, right away, and finish before you can worry about how to begin.

So, grab a pencil and the blank page you haven't been able to fill; we're going to write a movie. The Inner Movie...

How to Write a Movie in 21 Days. Copyright © by Viki King. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2014

    1 of the worst books about screenwriting. You better of getting

    1 of the worst books about screenwriting. You better of getting the screenwriting bible way better book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    As tedious as it is useless

    Worst screenwriting book ever — and I've read lots of them and usually find them most instructive.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    A Great Primer for the Screenwriter Wannabe

    I started writing a book/story and envisioned it as a movie, but had no idea where to start; this book showed me the way. Upside is: It tells you (just about)everything you need to know to create a script/story-line; downside is:It has too many little stories in it used as examples. Would I buy it again? Probably. Would I recommend it? Definitely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2002

    Turned me into a script writer!

    I did finish my script in three weeks even when working overtime at work and taking a weekend vacation. If you follow her tips, even if not exactly, you will bypass all the frustration and pain of agonizing over every sentence and will get the ideas out! The day I finished my script and wrote 'Fade to Black. The End,' I laid my head down on my desk and cried. I will never again approach page 45, wondering if I can really do it, and freezing up with writer's block. She taught me there really is no such thing! At first it seems too simple, but every time I got stuck and scared, I turned to a page and she addressed how I felt. I'm on my second script and my 'inner movies' keep rolling all the time. I have purchased almost every book on this subject and I love many of them, but this one I love the most!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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