What Screenwriting Books are Absolutely Essential in Your Opinion?

Hi All. I was compiling a list of essential screenwriting books for screenwriters beginners to advanced. I'm taking sort of an informal poll so that other students here may find a book that works for them. What would be your top 3? This is what i've come up with so far: www.bestscreenwritingbooks.com

I think i'm getting better and better at screenwriting so if anyone needs any help, give me a shout. I've written a short screenplay that was a finalist in a competition couple years ago. And that's probably because I've read screenwriting books over and over until things sort of "clicked." And they all boil down to one thing...


best and holiday wishes,
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From a writing perspective, The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier is recognized as an essential. The Secrets of Action Screenwriting by William Martell is excellent, but I do not think his new edition is out yet, I could be wrong. How to Make a Good Script Great by Seger is good, and Creating Unforgettable Characters – also by Seger, is also good. And, though it is not specifically about writing, Directing by Michael Rabiger is illuminating and covers some writing elements most writing books do not -- from a director's perspective.

To understand the industry and gain some insight there, Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman and Conversations with My Agent by Rob Long are both excellent. There is also a very fun book titled A Martian Wouldn’t Say That, which is a compilation of hilarious memos television writers have actually received from executives.

Marketing, The Script is Finished Now What Do I Do?, by K. Callan and The Screenwriter’s Survival Guide by Max Adams are cornerstones. That last one is by me and it’s the book’s ten year anniversary so it’s on sale right now, ten years, ten bucks, on my home site at http://seemaxrun.com/2-book.htm

Hope it helps.

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
dead links

dead links

there are dead links on that page you linked to for the book.