Making a Good Script Great / Edition 2

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Making a good script great is more than just a matter of putting a good idea on paper. It requires the working and reworking of that idea.

Making a Good Script Great takes you through the whole screenwriting process-from initial concept through final rewrite-providing specific methods that will help you craft tighter, stronger, and more salable scripts.

While retaining the invaluable insights that placed its first two editions among the all-time most popular screenwriting books, this expanded, revised, and updated third edition adds rich and important new material on dialogue, cinematic images, and point of view, as well as an interview with screenwriter Paul Haggis.

If you're writing your first script, this book will help develop your skills for telling a compelling and dramatic story. If you're a veteran screenwriter, it will help you articulate the skills you know intuitively. And if you're currently stuck on a rewrite, this book will help you analyze and solve your script's problems and get it back on track.

The focus of this book is on how to solve the script's problems and still preserve the original creativity.

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Editorial Reviews

Ron Howard
"I found Making a Good Script Great so helpful, specifically your sections on the central question and creating scene sequences. I've used those concepts on all my films starting with Apollo 13."
Bobby Moresco
"Making a Good Script Great will not just help you to understand the conventions that make a great script; it will help you put them into practice, challenge those conventions, and force you to ask the hard questions that need asking-without which, no screenplay finds itself. This is a must-read for any aspiring screenwriter, as well as the seasoned pro."
Jim Taylor
"I read the first edition of Making a Good Script Great when I was just starting out and found it extremely enlightening. As mush as I believe in writing intuitively, when the time comes to cast critical eye on your work, Linda Seger has created an outstanding field guide to the difficult but essential process of rewriting."
Stuart Beattie
"Linda's book has been extremely helpful to me. Her examination of screenplay structure and character development should be studied by all aspiring and working writers."
Ellen Sandler
"I wouldn't have been able to get my pen to the page without Making a Good Script Great, and this new 3rd edition is better than ever. With fresh examples and updates. If you want to write, you need this book."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780573699214
  • Publisher: Samuel French, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Linda Seger began her script consulting business in 1981, based on a script analysis method she developed as part of her doctoral dissertation, "What Makes a Script Work?" Since then, she has consulted with writers, producers, directors, and production companies on more than 2,000 scripts and 100 produced films and taught scriptwriting in 31 countries. Among her many clients have been Ray Bradbury, Peter Jackson, William Kelley, Tony Bill, ITC Entertainment, Charles Fries Entertainment, TriStar Pictures, and the Sundance Institute. She has given seminars for executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, Disney, Embassy Television, RAI television (Italy), and ZDF television (Germany), as well as for members of the American Film Institute, the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Living Legacy Award from the Moondance International Film Festival. She is the author of eight books on screenwriting. Her website is
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Table of Contents

Author's Preface
Ch. 1 Gathering Ideas 3
Ch. 2 The Three-Act Structure: Why You Need It and What to Do with It 18
Ch. 3 What Do Subplots Do? 39
Ch. 4 Act Two - How to Keep It Moving 60
Ch. 5 Creating the Scene 74
Ch. 6 Creating a Cohesive Script 101
Ch. 7 Making It Commercial 117
Ch. 8 Creating the Myth 135
Ch. 9 From Motivation to Goal: Finding the Character Spine 149
Ch. 10 Finding the Conflict 165
Ch. 11 Creating Dimensional Characters 180
Ch. 12 Character Functions 199
Ch. 13 On the Road to the Academy Award: A Case Study of the Rewrite of Witness 215
Epilogue 225
Index 227
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004

    Write a Screenplay

    If you've never written a screenplay or you've written several Linda Seger's book is the best of its kind. Motivating, informing, and jammed with details that are easy to follow. Buy this book and write a sceenplay. You'll have fun, you'll learn things about yourself, family and friends, and you might sell it and make a ton of money. Send me an email if you want to chat about this book and screenplay writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2002

    Got an Offer for My Script!

    This book has down-to-earth tips and helps that are not only practical, but inspirational as well. I believe that this book helped me truly turn a good script into a great script! I got an offer for one of my scripts by Rodger Corman (I graciously declined), and I owe such a great milestone in my life to Linda Seger! I'm using this book for a textbook in my class!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    Spinning your creative wheels? Get this book.

    A year ago, I made a 'bet the ranch' decision to quit my job and write a novel. I gave myself one year to complete this project--and met my own deadline. A big chunk of credit goes to this book. Although aimed at writing for the big and small screens, it's far better than most of the overly theoretical dreck written for would-be novelists. It is practical, readable advice that any writer can use immediately.

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