There are plenty of screenwriting books out there. Everyone one has their favorites. Certain books seem to speak to you just at the right time. However, over the years the following four books are the ones I’ve gone back to again and again.
1. Syd Field’s – SCREENPLAY is still the holy book when it comes to structure. It’s been around forever but it’s still relevant today. It should be the first book any new writer reads.
2. Linder Seager’s – HOW TO MAKE A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT is excellent with character development and the rewriting process.
3. Blake Synder’s – SAVE THE CAT, (The last screenwriting book you’ll ever need), isn’t quite that but written in a causal conversational manner, it reinvents the Beat Sheet. Plus it renames 10 different genres according to what they need to accomplish and how your script should fall into one of them. It’s a new way of thinking about screenwriting.
4. Lastly, William M. Aker’s – YOUR SCREENPLAY SUCKS! – is a great checklist after you’re done a draft and before you send it out, besides being just a fun read.
What are your favorites?