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Best Screenplay Books You Should Enjoy

Until you’ve consumed all of the best Screenplay books, can you even claim to be a true fan?

1. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting (2005)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyHollywood’s script guru teaches you how to write a screenplay in “the ‘bible’ of screenwriting” (The New York Times)—now celebrating forty years of screenwriting success!Syd Field’s books on the essential structure of emotionally satisfying screenplays have ignited lucrative careers in film and television since 1979. In this revised edition of his premiere guide, the underpinnings of successful onscreen narratives are revealed in clear and encouraging language that will remain wise and practical as long as audiences watch stories unfold visually—from hand-held devices to IMAX to virtual reality . . . and whatever comes…
Author(s): Syd Field

2. Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need (2005)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyHere’s what started the phenomenon: the best seller, for over 15 years, that’s been used by screenwriters around the world! Blake Snyder tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business. “Save the Cat” is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying, including: The four elements of every winning logline The seven immutable laws of screenplay physics The 10 genres that every movie ever made can be categorized by ― and why they’re important to your script Why your Hero must serve…
Author(s): Blake Snyder

3. The 90-Day Screenplay: from concept to polish (2014)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyThe 90-Day Screenplay was workshopped at L.A. Writers’ Lab over the course of ten years and has helped hundreds of screenwriters complete their work. Many graduates of the Lab have gone on to illustrious careers as screenwriters and producers in TV and film. The 90-Day Screenplay method of structuring your story is organic, involving a rigorous inquiry into the dilemma besetting your characters. This inside-out approach avoids the distractions that frequently occur when one’s focus is placed squarely on plot. Screenwriting is often taught by Hollywood story analysts who confuse story…
Author(s): Alan Watt

4. Screenplay Format Made (Stupidly) Easy (Screenwriting Made (Stupidly) Easy) (2018)

Best Screenplay Books You Should Enjoy“Loved every bit of it. An absolute essential tool for a screenwriter, professional or beginner. This man is a script genius!” –Alex Sorrels – Assistant Director, Worth Fighting ForWant to learn screenplay format? (Without spending years reading horrible zombie scripts?)Want to ensure your screenplay formatting doesn’t look amateurish and terribly out-of-date like an action-movie script from 1986?Do phone calls, montages and flashbacks leave you pulling your “script format” hair out?Fear not, screenwriter!”I found this VERY helpful indeed in demystifying screenplay format.” –Lizbeth Hartz – Author, Angel Hero: Murder in…
Author(s): Michael Rogan

5. Screenplay: Writing the Picture, 2nd Edition (2012)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyScreenplay is a complete screenwriting coursefrom initial idea through final script saleproviding in-depth discussions of theme development; story research; script plotting and structuring; character development; dialogue; writing and rewriting methods; formatting; the ins and outs of marketing and pitching scripts; writing for TV, the Web and video games, and much more. Well-written, comprehensive and filled with both innovative and tried-and-true writing techniques, illustrative screenplay examples and sage advice from veteran writers, Screenplay will help novices as well as working screenwriters…
Author(s): Robin U. Russin, William Missouri Downs

6. The Dark Knight Trilogy: The Complete Screenplays (Opus Screenplay) (2012)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyAt nearly six hundred pages, The Dark Knight Trilogy, a behemoth of script and storyboards, captures on the page the dark mythic expanse of the cinematic Batman. These definitive, vibrant film blueprints – published on the heels of the final film’s closely guarded release – are destined to be enshrined on every fan’s bedside table, studied in universities, and emulated by filmmakers….
Author(s): Christopher Nolan

7. The Short Screenplay: Your Short Film from Concept to Production (Aspiring Filmmaker’s Library) (2006)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyWith the growth of film festivals, cable networks, specialty home video, and the Internet, there are more outlets and opportunities for screening short films now than at any time in the last 100 years. But before you can screen your short film, you need to shoot it. And before you can shoot it, you need to write it. The Short Screenplay provides both beginning and experienced screenwriters with all the guidance they need to write compelling, filmable short screenplays. Explore how to develop characters that an audience can identify with. How to create a narrative…
Author(s): Dan Gurskis

8. Inglourious Basterds: A Screenplay (2009)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyWith such iconic films as the Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2, and Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino has become the most famous and revered writer/director of his generation. Now he’s back with his most ambitious movie yet: the World War II epic Inglourious Basterds. Starring Brad Pitt and filmed on location in Germany and France, it has the largest cast of characters of any Tarantino film to date. The movie will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009.The action tale follows the parallel story of a guerilla-like squad of American soldiers called “The Basterds” and the French…
Author(s): Quentin Tarantino

9. Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect (2014)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyCrafting Short Screenplays That Connect, Fourth Edition stands alone among screenwriting books by emphasizing that human connection, though often overlooked, is as essential to writing effective screenplays as conflict. This groundbreaking book will show you how to advance and deepen your screenwriting skills, increasing your ability to write richer, more resonant short screenplays that will connect with your audience. With her candid, conversational style, award-winning writer and director Claudia Hunter Johnson teaches you the all-important basics of dramatic technique and guides you through the challenging…
Author(s): Claudia H. Johnson

10. The Screenwriter’s Workbook: Exercises and Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating a Successful Screenplay, Newly Revised and Updated (2006)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoySyd Field's timeless manual on visual storytelling is your own, hands-on master-class with the man The Hollywood Reporter called "the most sought-after screenwriting teacher in the world." Field was the very first person to dissect thousands of films and scripts to find the essential narrative structure and shared functional elements underlying screewriting success. Chock full of easy-to-follow exercises and step-by-step instructions honed by Field in packed seminars across the globe, The Screenwriter's Worksbook guides you through the common processes utilized by beginners and…
Author(s): Syd Field

11. Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great (2008)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyA lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed….
Author(s): William M Akers

12. Writing Screenplays That Sell, New Twentieth Anniversary Edition: The Complete Guide to Turning Story Concepts into Movie and Television Deals (2011)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyFor more than twenty years, Writing Screenplays That Sell has been hailed as the most complete guide available on the art, craft, and business of writing for movies and television. Now fully revised and updated to reflect the latest trends and scripts, Hollywood story expert and script consultant Michael Hauge walks readers through every step of writing and selling successful screenplays. If you read only one book on the screenwriter’s craft, this must be the one….
Author(s): Michael Hauge

13. Reservoir Dogs: The Screenplay (2000)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyQuentin Tarantino’s films have single-handedly revived and redefined American noir, bringing to Hollywood a new energy, irony, and cool. Tarantino has won awards and accolades around the world, earned a devoted following among critics, actors, and audiences, and paved the way for a new generation of young filmmakers. Tarantino’s directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, hit the screen with a freshness and brutal edge that left critics and audiences stunned. The story of a heist gone wrong, the film weaves a taut and menacing path, laced with bursts of absurd and unexpected humor, as an…
Author(s): Quentin Tarantino

14. The Scream Writer’s Handbook: How to Write a Terrifying Screenplay in 10 Bloody Steps (2018)

Best Screenplay Books You Should EnjoyThe only Horror Screenwriter’s Handbook written by a successful Hollywood screenwriter. Authored by Hollywood horror screenwriting veteran Thomas Fenton, whose credits include work on the Saw and I Spit On Your Grave horror franchises, The Scream Writer’s Handbook offers a 10-step approach to writing a screenplay from idea through completing a first draft. Tom’s 10-Step approach in The Scream Writer’s Handbook shares a proven process for developing story ideas, characters, dialogue, and scenes that terrify the reader on the page, and on the screen. You’ll…
Author(s): Thomas Fenton

Screenwriting Books “on my shelf” These are all the books that you can find on my bookshelf (digital or literal). I have found each of these useful in different ways, but the bolded titles are ones I find myself coming back to again and again. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting is a non-fiction book and filmmaking guide written by Syd Field. First published in 1979, Screenplay covers the art and craft of screenwriting. Considered a bestseller shortly after its release, to date it has sold millions of copies. Top Ten Screenwriting Books You Need to Read 1) Screenplay by Syd Field The first book I ever read about screenwriting. Field is the forefather of the how-to for screenwriting. He cracked the code of the three-act structure Best Screenwriting Books #1: Your Screenplay Sucks! by William M. Akers. Akers is a lifetime member of the Writers’ Guild of America and writer of three produced screenplays. This book is great for helping writers really get to grips with the essentials of the craft.

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some screenplay books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Isle of Dogs: The Screenplay

Author(s): Wes Anderson
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2213924

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - the Original Screenplay

Author(s): J. K. Rowling [Rowling, J. K.]
Publisher: Pottermore Publishing, Year: 2018, Size: 8 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2285593

William Faulkner at Twentieth Century-Fox : the annotated screenplays

Author(s): Faulkner, William; Gleeson-White, Sarah
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Year: 2017, Size: 7 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1680621

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Author(s): J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, Year: 2016, Size: 6 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1578908

Hollywood Screenwriting Directory Spring/Summer: A Specialized Resource for Discovering Where & How to Sell Your Screenplay

Author(s): Douma, Jesse (editor); Perez, Dinah (Editor)
Publisher: F W Media, Year: 2016, Size: 1 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2071876

The Story Structure Secret: Actions and Goals (Plotting a Novel or Screenplay Using Character Actions)

Author(s): Marshall Dotson [Dotson, Marshall]
Publisher: Idea Brain Publishing, Year: 2016, Size: 395 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2285424

Screenplay : building story through character

Author(s): Selbo, Jule
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2016, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2336694

Writing & Selling Romantic Comedy Screenplays

Author(s): Craig Batty, Helen Jacey
Publisher: Oldcastle Books, Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1323250

From Fairy Tale to Film Screenplay: Working with Plot Genotypes

Author(s): Terence Patrick Murphy
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK, Year: 2015, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1458156

Screenplay and Narrative Theory: The Screenplectics Model of Complex Narrative Systems

Author(s): George Varotsis
Publisher: Lexington Books, Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1508071

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are absolutely record-breakers according to The New York Times, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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