The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script

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Overview

The 20th anniversary edition of one of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting. A standard by which other screenwriting books are measured, it has sold over 200,000 copies in its twenty-year life. Always up-to-date and reliable, it contains everything that both the budding and working screenwriter need under one cover—five books in one!

A Screenwriting Primer—that provides a concise course in screenwriting basics; A ...

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Overview

The 20th anniversary edition of one of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting. A standard by which other screenwriting books are measured, it has sold over 200,000 copies in its twenty-year life. Always up-to-date and reliable, it contains everything that both the budding and working screenwriter need under one cover—five books in one!

A Screenwriting Primer—that provides a concise course in screenwriting basics; A Screenwriting Workbook—that walks you through the complete writing process, from nascent ideas through final revisions; A Formatting Guide—that thoroughly covers today's correct formats for screenplays and TV scripts; A Spec Writing Guide—that demonstrates today's spec style through sample scenes and analysis, with an emphasis on grabbing the reader's interest in the first ten pages; A Sales and Marketing Guide—that presents proven strategies to help you create a laser-sharp marketing plan.

Among this book's wealth of practical information are sample query letters, useful worksheets and checklists, hundreds of examples, sample scenes, and straightforward explanations of screenwriting fundamentals. The sixth edition is chock-full of new examples, the latest practices, and new material on non-traditional screenplay outlets.

David Trottier is a script consultant, writer, producer, and screenwriting teacher. The Screenwriter's Bible was developed (and has been regularly updated) over the many years that he has helped screenwriters achieve their goals.

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Editorial Reviews

Melissa Jones
The formatter alone is worth the price of the book. [Melissa Jones, Hollywood Story Analyst]
William Kelley
Whether you are a rank beginner who needs instruction, or an old pro who needs reminding, you could not do better than David Trottier's book. A brilliant effort by a first-class, dedicated teacher." [William Kelley, Academy Award-winning writer, Witness]
New York Screenwriter
For the writer searching for the one book that has it all, The Screenwriter's Bible is an essential reference. [New York Screenwriter]
Candace Monteiro
Good common sense. Sets up practical guidelines without encroaching on the writer's creativity. Easy to follow--feels like a workbook that will be used and not just read. [Candace Monteiro, Monteiro Rose Agency]
Booknews
Presents the fundamentals of screenwriting, an overview of the entire writing process, script formatting, speculative writing style, sales and marketing strategies, and a resource guide of addresses and contacts. The new edition is expanded by nearly 120 pages. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Academy Award-winning writer, Witness - William Kelley
"Whether you are a rank beginner who needs instruction, or an old pro who needs reminding, you could not do better than Trottier's book. A brilliant effort by a first-class, dedicated teacher."
UCLA Screenwriting Faculty Chairman - Richard Walter
"A treasure chest of useful information-not only for new writers but also for seasoned veterans."
Emmy-nominated Co-Executive Producer, Everybody Loves Raymond - Ellen Sandler
"Whenever I am writing, I have The Screenwriter's Bible close at hand for reference.
Hollywood Film Institute - Dov S-S Simens
"The best screenwriting book available."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935247104
  • Publisher: Silman-James Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2014
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 430
  • Sales rank: 66,269
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Trottier is a writer, a producer, a script consultant, and a popular screenwriting teacher who has developed and perfected The Screenwriter's Bible during the more than fifteen years that he has spent helping screenwriters attain their goals.
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Table of Contents

Book I - How to Write a Screenplay, A Primer
How stories work -- Situation, conflict, and resolution -- The flow of the story -- The low down on high concept -- Story layering, plot, and genre -- Ten keys to creating captivating characters -- Dialogue, subtext, and exposition -- How to make a scene -- Suspense and comedy - Television

Book II - 7 Steps to a Stunning Script, A Workbook
Step 1, Summon your Muse -- Step 2, Dream up your movie idea -- Step 3, Develop your core story -- Step 4, Create your movie people -- Step 5, Step out your story -- Step 6, Write your first draft -- Step 7, Make the necessary revisions -- The Character/Action Grid

Book III - Correct Format for Screenplays & TV Scripts, A Style Guide
How to use this guide and its unique cross-referencing tools -- Sample scenes -- The cover, title page, first page, and last page -- Headings (slug lines) -- Description -- Dialogue -- How to format TV scripts -- Glossary -- Complete formatting index

Book IV - Writing Your Breakthrough Spec Script, A Script Consultant's View
The spec script, your key to breaking in -- Exercises in revising scenes -- The first ten pages (a sample plus an analysis)

Book V - How to Sell Your Script, A Marketing Plan
How to protect your work -- What you must do before entering the market -- Your strategic marketing plan (with worksheets) -- How to find an agent -- The query letter (with sample letters) -- How to pitch without striking out -- How to sell your script without an agent -- Television -- Hollywood's back door -- How to break into Hollywood when you live in Peoria -- A personal challenge

Book VI - Resources and Index
Industry organizations and guilds -- Script consultants, seminars, and schools -- Internet sites -- Directories, periodicals, and writers organizations -- Bookstores -- Software -- Books for screenwriters and TV writers -- Contests -- General index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2000

    Highly Recommended!

    As the author of ¿Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets¿ I highly recommend screenwriters to read ¿The Screenwriter¿s Bible.¿ This book solves many of the problems of properly formatting screenplays. The book solidly sets up the structure of the story you are writing in the proper script format -- precisely what agents and production companies need to submit a script to higher levels of management for a green light. If you follow the advice given in this book, you will have a screenplay with the major critical elements installed. This will satisfy story analysts. You¿ll be satisfied with the results, too! This book is of high value to the screenwriter, as a properly formatted script will be recognized as a professional submission in Hollywood. Professional submissions are a prime critical element that gets script¿s sold!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2014

    As the author, I need to respond to the anonymous two-star revie

    As the author, I need to respond to the anonymous two-star review. First of all, let me say that I encourage writers to read as many scripts as they can, including shooting scripts. There is so much that can be learned from reading screenplays. However, there are important differences between a shooting and spec script. Shooting scripts generally (not always) are loaded with camera directions and are mainly concerned with the shoot (which is why they're called shooting scripts). A spec script, however, is written to be read. It's called a spec because it is written on speculation that it might be sold later. That means anyone trying to break in is writing a spec script. A spec must be readable and involving. When a script is sent to a producer, the producer generally hands it off to a reader who writes a coverage and who recommends it or not. Thus, technical intrusions, such as camera directions, slow down the read. Anyone trying to break into the business needs to understand that camera directions, scene numbers, etc., work against them. Also, whereas a shooting script is most often written in an informative style, a spec written by a novice fares better if written in an entertaining style. I don't know how many professional readers and agents have thanked for pointing out these important differences. For those who want to understand all the specific rules for using camera directions and other formatting fine points, I highly recommend Christopher Riley's first rate book. I do not disparage it. My personal goal is to help writers in any way I can to craft a spec script that will be most appealing to readers. Keep writing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Necessary!

    This book helped me more in the first 100 pages than everything else I've read on screenwriting combined. A real must have for novice screenwriters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Everything you'd need.

    Just started with this book, and I'm very impressed. Anything you need to know about writing Screenplay's he explains in ways that are easy to understand and gives great examples of movies you can relate too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2004

    All you'll ever need!

    What an amazing, revolutionizing experience! Every screenwriter should own this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2003

    THE BOMB

    This book is the best screenwriting book that I have come encounter with. I have read many book they were so complicated that I didn't finish reading. Now that I have read the screenwriters bible I am half-way through my script. It gives you direction, how to get fresh ideas to naming your characters. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get started with a script but don't know how. This book will be the best investment you give yourself. It is all so the first pay off of your successful script. Good luck k.ray

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2002

    Nothing Comes Close!

    All you really need to know about this book is the price. That is it. If you have ever, or currently have an idea for a screenplay, this book will guide you from the ideas that are tossed around in your mind to the signing on the dotted line. Nothing comes close to this book, although the prices of actually consulting the author are slightly pricey, his book is even better. Before I bought this book, my script was good and now its even better. The minor 'writing mistakes' that I made, are gone and the script is well on its way. No other screenwriting book comes close.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 1999

    Best of Many

    I ordered three other titles about screenwriting before this one, and while all were helpful, this is the one that finally showed me what I wanted to know, and a lot more. The breadth and depth of this volume far exceeded all the others combined. Like someone else said, if you've got the gift, this is the book that will show you how to do it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    The author makes a major mistake: claiming that there is a big

    The author makes a major mistake: claiming that there is a big difference bewteen a spec script and a shooting script. The only notable difference is that in a shooting script, scenes are numbered for the shooting schedule. Generally speaking, directors don't go through a production script and put in extra camera angles. The angles you see are put in by the writer. Directors work from a shot list. (If you do see a script with every camera angle, sound cues, lighting cues, FX, what you have is a Continuity Script. Continuity Scripts are assembled after the film has been edited for release, for copyright and other legal record keeping.)

    Working screenwriters know all this, but novices don't. Trottier's error has led to novice writers avoiding the study of great, widely available shooting scripts, scripts which have so much to teach them. Trottier adds to his mistake by stating that Chris Riley's book, The Hollywood Standard, teaches formatting for shooting scripts only. This is flatly untrue. Riley's book is great for formatting in general, an unlinke Trottier, Riley's a working Hollywood professional. Is Trottier just ignorant of the facts here, or is he slamming a rival?


    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2000

    A MUST BUY!!

    A must buy for any novice or experienced screenwriter. A great reference for all aspects of screewriting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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