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How to Write


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Table of Contents

Introduction; Log Line; Synopsis; Character Profiles; Beat Outline; Treatment; The Pitch; The Original Screenplay.

About the Author

Mark Evan Schwartz is Assistant Professor of Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University in California. He's a former Head of Story Development for Nelson Entertainment, Story Analyst for the David Geffen Company, and Production Assistant to Francis Ford Coppola. A working screenwriter, he has credits on over a dozen produced feature films and television movies.


Adult/High School-This is one of the best books available for aspiring screenwriters. What makes it so useful for novices is that it follows the cardinal rule "Show, Don't Tell." Instead of explaining how to write a script, the book is one. The characters illustrate the craft through an action-adventure story in which Danny, a young writer, is trying to score a tryst with a sexy actress. Bebe La Rue denies him any action until he writes a hot script for her to star in. Enter Virgil, mystery man and screenwriting guru, who takes Danny to the netherworld, where they encounter ghouls, zombies, and giant slugs while exploring concepts like story structure and dramatic conflict. The book makes it clear that writing movie scripts is much harder, and takes much more strategy and expertise, than most people think. Students with dreams of winning the next Project Greenlight contest will leap ahead of the competition by learning the concepts presented in this volume. If their goal is to sell to Hollywood, this book shows them other items frequently requested by producers and agents during the pitching process: the script logline, synposis, and treatment. There's also information about how to copyright and register finished work.-Lois Kirkpatrick, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Schwartz delivers a wonderfully unique concept...a great idea and the most entertaining way of learning the process." -Script Magazine
"An interesting and worthwhile experiment. A fast and informative read... A fun way to learn how to write a script!" Screenwriting magazine
"This is not a dry read but is ratherentertaining. The formatting of a script quickly makes sense and the learningto be had is a wide array. If you want to learn the steps to successfullycreating a movie script, this has the technical knowledge you will need." -DarthWeasel Book Reviews
"The latest edition "How to Write a Screenplay "appears in its revised, expanded edition to add a chapter on "The Pitch" and features a screenplay-like format which sets it apart from others on the market.... Learn the basics of writing and marketing a screenplay through a format that lends to lively insights: perfect for any public library or school collection catering to aspiring screenwriters."- "Bookwatch/ California Bookwatch, "July 5, 2007--Sanford Lakoff
"As entertaining and engaging as it is informed and informative, How to Write a Screenplay "is an impressive, 'reader friendly', professional, practical, instructive, superbly organized and presented 'how to' manual that is very strongly recommended reading for any and all aspiring playwrights and novice screenwriters."- James Cox, Library Bookwatch, "August 2007--Sanford Lakoff
"Mark Evan Schwartz's book is 'a good read' and it's also an instructional read that guides a new screenwriter through the maze of writing a good screenplay, much the same way Virgil guided Dante through another potentially hellish experience all those many years ago."--Sanford Lakoff
Mark Evan Schwartz knows screenwriting like Dante knew Hell. Not that screenwriting is hell all of the time, but it is often enough to need a great roadmap, and "How to Write: a SCREENPLAY" does that beautifully, with humor and invention and a thorough respect for both the basics and the sulphorous details. And the notion of writing it in the form of a screenplay, called writing for the hell of it, is just plain inspiration. Writing a screenplay that really works is deceptively difficult. Reading this book and following its wisdom decidedly is not. Wes Craven--Sanford Lakoff
"This is not a dry read but is rather entertaining. The formatting of a script quickly makes sense and the learning to be had is a wide array. If you want to learn the steps to successfully creating a movie script, this has the technical knowledge you will need." -Darth Weasel Book Reviews

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